Human Rights House Foundation statement

HRC55 – Item 4 – Interactive Dialogue – OHCHR Examination of Belarus

19 March 2024

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Thank you, Vice President.

With Belarus persisting in its total crackdown on a wide range of human rights, we call on the Council to establish an investigative mechanism to complement and build upon the good work of the OHCHR Examination.

A new mechanism is critical to continue the work of documenting serious human rights violations, identifying perpetrators, and paving the way for accountability, especially for violations extending beyond the 2020 election period.

We also call for the renewal of the Special Rapporteur’s mandate, which offers a continuous lifeline to Belarusian civil society, and better resourcing of the Rapporteur’s office.

The human rights situation in Belarus has drastically deteriorated, with more than 1,400 political prisoners, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ales Bialiatski, as well as Marfa Rabkova and Valiantsin Stefanovic.

The tragic death of political prisoner Ihar Lednik in February underscores Belarus’s disregard for even basic human dignity and rights, and the High Commissioner’s report continues to identify possible crimes against humanity, including numerous examples of the systematic use of torture.

Vice President.

We ask the Deputy High Commissioner: Where should a new mechanism aimed at accountability in Belarus focus its resources and work?

Thank you.