Belarus and the Human Rights Council: Towards Accountability for Human Rights Violations
American diplomats, together with colleagues from Europe, demanded that the official Minsk stop the violence and start a dialogue with the protesters
US Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) James Gilmore said on Friday during a telephone briefing for journalists that the report on the situation in Belarus, published the day before in the framework of the OSCE Moscow Mechanism, provides shocking evidence of violence. Belarusian authorities in relation to the protesters of the citizens of this country:
“The report is quite detailed, and, frankly, it is quite shocking that such behavior (of the Belarusian authorities – ed.) Takes place in a country on the European continent in the 21st century … There are reliable reports of torture, massive arbitrary detentions, wide-scale restrictions on the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression. In fact, the report goes into great detail about threats against people, about women who are threatened with rape, about other threats – families are threatened that their children will be taken away, about physical abuse, attacks on people, about people being thrown into prisons and kept. in inhuman conditions, and all this – in order to stop the development of legitimate democracy in Belarus at the moment “.
The OSCE report “Alleged human rights violations in connection with the 9 August 2020 presidential elections in Belarus” was prepared under the “Moscow Mechanism” introduced by the organization in 1991 and designed to “ensure human rights, fundamental freedoms, democracy and the rule of law through dialogue and cooperation to help solve specific problems “.
According to the diplomat, on November 6, together with European colleagues, he met in Vienna with the candidate from the Belarusian opposition Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who personally told the ambassadors of the OSCE member states about the persecution of people..
“The United States is going to continue to support the Belarusian people in their strive to ensure that their voice is heard and that their rights are respected, including the demand for free and fair elections, which is fundamental for the European and Eurasian continents in the 21st century … and to turn them into political prisoners, without charge and without reason, supported by law – this is an act of internal terrorism aimed at trying
suppress the emerging democracy in Belarus “- James Gilmore told reporters.
US Deputy Secretary of State George Kent, who participated in the same briefing, in response to a question from the Russian service of the Voice of America about whether a new US Ambassador to Belarus would be sent to Minsk, said that the candidacy of Julie Fisher, who had already been approved Senate Foreign Relations Committee is yet to be approved by the Senate as a whole, and a date for such a vote has not yet been set:
“Any discussion of what will happen in the future if we have an approved ambassador is premature at this stage. But we believe that it is important to continue to strengthen our relations, even when difficult moments like the current ones occur in the internal situation in Belarus “.
The US Deputy Secretary of State made it clear that Washington does not recognize Alexander Lukashenko as the legitimate head of Belarus: “I think it would be correct to say that we do not consider the August 9 election process free and fair. The falsified results, which were announced a few days later, cannot give legitimacy to anyone, and therefore it is difficult for us to consider anyone claiming victory on August 9 as the legitimately elected leader of the country. “.
Earlier on Friday, the European Union imposed personal sanctions against Alexander Lukashenko and other state officials of Belarus (https://www.golosameriki.com/a/belarus-osce-sanctions-russia/5651055.html). In this regard, George Kent recalled that the United States subjected Lukashenka to sanctions 14 years ago “for falsification of elections and violence” “.
“We welcome the decision of the European Union, which was announced today,” the diplomat added..
The European Union also issued a statement yesterday, in which it called on the Belarusian authorities to invalidate the results of this year’s presidential elections and hold a “new vote based on international standards.”.
“The report contains clear and irrefutable evidence of rigged presidential elections on August 9, 2020 and massive and systematic human rights violations by Belarusian security forces in response to peaceful demonstrations and protests. He provides us with numerous documented examples of persecution and repression … It is the Belarusian authorities and the Belarusian leadership that bear the exclusive responsibility for the situation, which is described in detail in this report, ”the EU said in a statement on the occasion of the publication of the OSCE report.
The US authorities have recently harshly criticized official Minsk for the suppression of protests by citizens of the country reacting to numerous violations during the presidential elections on August 9.
In particular, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday that “The United States continues to call on the Belarusian authorities to stop repressions and
listen to the demands of the Belarusian people to hold free and fair elections under independent supervision. ” He stressed that the recommendations set out in the OSCE report could become a plan that the Belarusian authorities should use to get out of this crisis..
Reporter for the Russian Voice of America Service in Moscow. Collaborates with Voice of America since 2012. For a long time he worked as a correspondent and host of programs for the BBC Russian Service and Radio Liberty. Specialization – international relations, politics and legislation, human rights.
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