Civil society organisations call for the immediate operationalisation of the Human Rights Council’s new mandate on Belarus

24/03/2021
Statement

We urge the international community to support this critical next step. We, the 63 undersigned Belarusian and international human rights organisations, welcome the resolution passed by the UN Human Rights Council mandating the High Commissioner to create a new robust monitoring and reporting mandate focused on accountability for human rights violations in Belarus that have taken place since 1 May 2020. In so doing, the Council demonstrated its determination to hold Belarusian authorities to account. This mandate needs immediate action. We urge the international community to support this critical next step.

The establishment of the High Commissioner’s new mandate is a response to the serious and escalating human rights violations taking place in Belarus and surrounding the August 2020 presidential elections. The mandate should provide a complementary and expert international mechanism to regional accountability processes already under way.

Furthermore, it should assist in the identification of those responsible for the most serious violations for future prosecution. With the mounting human rights crisis in Belarus, the Council’s action today is timely. It will require ongoing assistance and systematic follow-up by Human Rights Council members and the Office of the High Commissioner.

In order for this new accountability mandate to meaningfully and substantively address the human rights crisis in Belarus, it is critical that the Office of the High Commissioner receives the assistance it will need to:

1. Ensure that this new mandate is sufficiently funded.

2. Appoint credible international experts with sufficient experience and expertise, including in international criminal law to fully and completely examine all alleged human rights violations committed in Belarus since 1 May 2020.

3. Operationalise the mandate with the requisite investigators, forensic experts, gender
specialists, and legal analysts.

4. Provide a sufficient operational window for the mandate.

5. Report immediately and publicly to the Council on non-cooperation by the Belarusian
authorities in the accountability mandate’s work.

6. Commit to sharing advanced copies of its interim oral report and comprehensive written report with Belarusian, regional, and international civil society in the same manner and at the same time it is shared with member States and Belarusian authorities.

This is an important moment for the United Nations. The Belarusian people demand accountability for past and on-going human rights violations. Member States and the Office of the High Commissioner must ensure that this new mandate meets these demands.

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  • Co-signatories

    Agir ensemble pour les droits humains
    ARTICLE 19 United Kingdom
    Assoiation UMDPL, member of Educational Human Rights House
    Chernihiv
    Ukraine
    B.a.B.e. Budi aktivna.Budi emancipiran., member of Human Rights
    House Zagreb
    Croatia
    Barys Zvozskau Belarusian Human Rights House Belarus
    Belarusian Helsinki Committee, member of Barys Zvozskau Belarusian
    Human Rights House
    Belarus
    Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan /FIDH Kyrgyzstan
    CCE "Almenda", member of Human Rights House Crimea Ukraine
    Center for Civil Liberties Ukraine
    Centre for Peace Studies, member of Human Rights House Zagreb Croatia
    Centre for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights Russian Federation
    CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation South Africa
    Civil Society and Freedom of Speech Initiative Center for the Caucasus Russian Federation
    CROSOL - Croatian Platform for International Citizen Solidarity,
    member of Human Rights House Zagreb
    Croatia
    DefendDefenders (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders
    Project)
    Uganda
    DRA (Deutsch-Russischer Austausch) Germany
    DRA (Deutsch-Russischer Austausch) Germany
    ECPM (Together Against the Death Penalty) France
    Educational Human Rights House - Chernihiv Ukraine
    Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Center, member of Human
    Rights House Azerbaijan
    Azerbaijan
    FIDH France
    Foundation of Regional Initiatives Ukraine
    Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor Armenia
    Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights Poland
    Human Rights Center of Azerbaijan Azerbaijan
    Human Rights House Foundation International
    Human Rights House Yerevan, member of Human Rights House
    Yerevan
    Armenia
    Human Rights House Zagreb Croatia
    Human Rights Monitoring Institute Lithuania
    Human Rights Watch International
    humanrights.ch Switzerland
    International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) United Kingdom
    International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) Switzerland
    Kharkiv Regional Foundation "Public Alternative" Ukraine
    La Strada International Netherlands
    Legal Initiative, member of Barys Zvozskau Belarusian Human Rights
    House
    Belarus
    Legal policy research centre Kazakhstan
    Libereco - Partnership for Human Rights Germany
    Media Institute, member of Human Rights House Tbilisi Georgia
    Mental Health and Human Rights Info Norway
    Netherlands Helsinki Committee Netherlands
    NGO MART , member of Educational Human Rights House Chernihiv Ukraine
    Norwegian Helsinki Committee Norway
    Paris Bar / Barreau de Paris France
    Pink human rights defender NGO, member of Human Rights House
    Yerevan
    Armenia
    Promo LEX Moldova
    Public Association "Dignity" Kazakhstan
    Public Verdict Foundation Russian Federation
    Rights Georgia, member of Human Rights House Tbilisi - Georgia
    RSF, Reporters Without Borders International
    Russian Research Centre for Human Rights Russian Federation - Russia
    SAR Europe - Ireland
    Southern Africa Human Rights Defenders Network Southern - Africa
    The Georgian Centre for Psychosocial and Medical Rehabilitation of
    Torture Victims - GCRT, member of Human Rights House Tbilisi - Georgia
    the International Centre for civil initiatives "Our House" - Belarus
    The Law Society of England and Wales - United Kingdom
    The Swedish OSCE-network signs - Sweden
    UNITED for Intercultural Action - Hungary
    Vietnam Committee on Human Rights (VCHR) - France
    Vostok SOS, member of Educational Human Rights House Chernihiv - Ukraine
    Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom International
    World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) - Switzerland
    ZMINA, member of Human Rights House Crimea - Ukraine

  • Member organisations - Belarus
    vignette contact
    Belarus


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