Invocation of Vienna Mechanism on Belarus

Thirty-five OSCE states decided to invoke the Vienna Mechanism on Belarus due to serious human rights violations. On Thursday, 4 November 2021, Neil Bush, the head of the United Kingdom’s Delegation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, delivered a statement on behalf of 35 OSCE states invoking the Vienna Mechanism to request answers from Belarus on continued serious human rights violations and abuse.

The statement says that the participating countries continue to be deeply concerned about serious human rights violations in Belarus. Last year the Moscow Mechanism was invoked in respect of Belarus: the Belarusian authorities were issued a recommendation to cancel the results of the 2020 presidential election and hold a new election with the participation of international and local observers; to include representatives of public organizations in local election committees, and to bring Belarusian electoral legislation into conformity with the international norms. As for human rights, Belarus was also given an extensive list of recommendations regarding the right to liberty and security, the right to a fair trial, freedom of assembly and association, freedom of expression and freedom of media, accountability, and impunity prevention. But the Belarusian authorities ignored these recommendations.

Under the Vienna Mechanism, the participating countries request concrete and substantial responses from Belarus on the above-mentioned issues. The statement expresses concern about the infringement of freedom of media and freedom of assembly, arbitrary arrests and persecution of the opposition, the use of torture, and the situation with migrants on the borders of Belarus. The OSCE states expect to receive information in response to these concerns in writing within 10 days.

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