UN Human Rights Council adopts resolution on collecting evidence of post-election crimes in Belarus

Resolution on Belarus put to vote in UNHRC. Photo: Franak Vyachorka / Facebook

On March 24, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed Resolution A/HRC/46/L.19 regarding the situation in Belarus.

The resolution proposed by the European Union mandates the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to collect, analyse and preserve information about human rights violations in Belarus during the 2020 presidential vote and the post-election crackdown on peaceful protesters in order to ensure perpetrators’ accountability for crimes and bring justice to their victims.

20 countries voted in favour of adopting the document, six (Venezuela, China, Cuba, Russia, Philippines, Eritrea) were against, another 20 abstained.

A month ago, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michel Bachelet presented a report on the situation in Belarus at the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

“The events that had unfolded before and immediately after the presidential election in Belarus had led to a human rights crisis of unprecedented dimension in the country,” she said.

According to the Commissioner, freeing all those people who were detained for peacefully exercising their rights is essential for the future of the country that respect for human rights.

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On 9 August, the large-scale protests started in the country on the back of announcing the preliminary results of the 2020 presidential election; the major demands of Belarusians were Alyaksndr Lukashenka’s resignation; holding a free and fair election; releasing political prisoners; putting an end to police violence as well as bringing to justice those involved in battering and torturing peaceful demonstrators. There are at least seven death cases that are linked to the post-election protests. By the moment, 299 persons have been recognised as political prisoners by the Belarusian human rights community.

Several thousand detainees filed complaints against police officers’ illegal actions to the Investigative Committee. However, not a single criminal case has been opened over the citizens’ appeals.

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