United Nations

HRHF statement at Human Rights Council meeting on Belarus

On 4 December 2020, Human Rights House Foundation issued a statement at the Human Rights Council outlining the situation in Belarus.

Madam President.

Over 30,000 people have been arrested or detained over the last four months in Belarus.

Our colleagues in Belarus say that over 4,000 allegations of torture have been filed with Belarus’ Investigative Committee without a single criminal case opened concerning human rights violations by law enforcement officers.

During weekly peaceful protests, violence is increasingly being used by security forces against the most vulnerable, including recent attacks against the elderly and those with disabilities; concerns that were expressed in a joint statement by the UN Special Procedures.

On 12 November, Belarusian authorities attacked one of the country’s oldest youth organizations. Leaders and activists of the Belarusian Students’ Association were detained, and the apartments of members of the student union and its office were searched.

There is an increase in criminal charges against human rights defenders and journalists and the list of political prisoners continues to grow and has more than 147 names, including members of the Belarusian student union and volunteers of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”.

Our civil society partners believe that this repression will continue until all dissenting voices are silenced.

Madam President.

We ask the High Commissioner: In the complete absence of a domestic process for independently investigating violence and torture by Belarusian security forces, why shouldn’t the Council mandate its own investigative mechanism to document serious violations?

Thank you.

Tags:
Belarus

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