HRC46 Oral Statement for the Enhanced Interactive dialogue on the High Commissioner report on the situation of human rights in Belarus

Press release

UN Human Rights Council – 46th session

Item 2 - Enhanced Interactive dialogue on the High Commissioner report on the situation of human rights in Belarus

25 February 2021

Madam President,

Despite extensive international scrutiny and condemnations of human rights violations committed in the lead-up, during and after the 2020 presidential elections in Belarus, the authorities responsible for the crackdown continue to commit violations with impunity.

The policy is to spare no one: women, minors, the elderly, and even persons with disabilities, have been harrassed, beaten, tortured, arrested and imprisoned for nothing more than peacefully expressing their political views.

FIDH condemns the recent coordinated surge in the crackdown against some of the most prominent Belarusian human rights organisations and human rights defenders by the KGB and other power structures [on 16 February. They raided the premises of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, the Belarus Association of Journalists, and other human rights organizations, and detained dozens of human rights defenders in retaliation for their legitimate human rights work.] Many of those detained will face criminal charges and convictions, joining the list of over 1000 individuals targeted in criminal cases, and more than 250 political prisoners currently in Belarus’ jails. While instances of torture and killing have subsided, not a single perpetrator has so far been held to account.

Although the OHCHR report highlights the responsibility of the government of Belarus, further measures must be taken to ensure adequate accountability for these human rights violations. FIDH calls on the Human Rights Council to establish an international investigative mechanism with the mandate to:

  • to collect and preserve relevant evidence and identify perpetrators of crimes and abuses committed, as wells as
  • to identify and report on persons and entities having contributed or assisted in any way, including by providing the means, in the commission of human rights violations.

Thank you.

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