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    A new UN mechanism to assert responsibility for human rights violations in Belarus

    On 24 March 2021, the UN Human Rights Council established a new international mechanism to assert responsibility for human rights violations in Belarus in connection with the rigged 2020 presidential elections.

    The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva adopted a resolution on the human rights situation in Belarus on 24 March 2021 in the run-up to and after the presidential elections in the country. The adopted resolution establishes a specific mechanism for monitoring the human rights situation in Belarus and for a thorough investigation of violations that have occurred since 1 May 2020. The new process established by the UN Human Rights Council aims to ensure that perpetrators of human rights violations and justice are accountable to their victims. The new mechanism will operate under the auspices of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The first report on its activities will be presented at the autumn session of the Human Rights Council in September this year.


    The resolution also condemns systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Belarus, including the arrest and detention of representatives of the opposition, journalists, human rights defenders and other citizens of Belarus exercising their fundamental freedoms. The document also expresses particular concern about the numerous cases of torture and inhuman treatment by the Belarusian authorities of detainees, while calling on Belarus to release all political prisoners, journalists and other people arbitrarily arrested.


    The resolution was presented at the Human Rights Council on behalf of the European Union. Poland, which remained actively involved in the process of adopting resolutions at all stages of the document, actively sought work on the document. We have particularly strongly emphasised the importance of the new mechanism in providing support to the Belarusian society in asserting the rights of victims of the actions of the Alexander Lukashenko regime.


    The adoption of the resolution and the establishment of a new mechanism are other examples of the extensive cooperation of the international community for the protection and respect of human rights in Belarus. The establishment of a new process led by the Office of the UN High Commissioner will also contribute to the protection of the human rights of national minorities, who, on an equal basis with other Belarusian citizens, are the target of discriminatory actions by the Belarusian authorities.


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