The Federal Prosecutor’s Office of Germany has launched a ‘monitoring process’, which may be a preliminary stage before the initiation of a criminal case on the ground of German lawyers’ complaint filed against Alyaksandr Lukashenka and representatives of the regime, TUT.by reports.
Such step was taken in order to safeguard the interests of ten Belarusians who turned out to be victims of police abuse in their own country.
By starting the above mentioned process, the Prosecutor’s Office sends a strong message that it is keeping track of the situation regardless of the location of committing crimes. However, there are still debates on Lukashenka’s presidential immunity taking place in Germany.
A few weeks ago, four German lawyers contacted the prosecutor’s office located in Karlsruhe on behalf of ten Belarusian survivors of torture, reporting numerous cases of using violence against civilians amid the post-election peaceful protests in Belarus. Their clients lodged complaints of having been put to brutal torture, deprivation of food and sleep, insults and abuse, which inflicted serious damage on the health of all of the victims. In their opinion, the actions by Belarusian authorities were nothing but barbaric acts. As neither Lukashenka nor his law enforcement officers are facing the legal consequences of excessive use of force and torturing detainees in Belarus, the lawyers called on the German authorities to conduct an independent investigation into crimes against humanity committed by the regime. It should be noted that they referred to the universal jurisdiction concept which allows criminal prosecution for crimes prohibited by international law and perpetrated in other states.
In response, Lukashenka slammed the initiative, calling Germans ‘fascism successors’ and ‘descendants of the generations that started the Second World War’.
In early May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel raised the issue of Belarus when taking part in an online meeting with students. She announced further measures that Germany would start offering to Belarusians in humanitarian need, including easier access to visas, scholarships and support to independent media.