The Belarusian opposition Svetlana Tikhanovskaya on Friday called the international community to “the greatest firmness” in the face of the repression of demonstrations in Belarus, in a video message broadcast by the UN Human Rights Council.
The August 9 Belarusian presidential candidate, who went into exile in Lithuania after disputing the victory claimed by Alexander Lukashenko, sent the message on the occasion of an emergency debate on Belarus at the Human Rights Council. the man. “The situation in Belarus requires immediate international attention. Peaceful protesters are illegally detained, beaten and raped. Some of them were found dead, ”said Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.
The re-election of Lukashenko, in power since 1994, with 80% of the vote, according to official figures, triggered an unprecedented protest movement in the country, a movement which faces police repression denounced as brutal by the opposition and human rights organizations. “The scale and brutality of the considerable force used by the violent regime clearly violates all international standards and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations and Belarus,” Tikhanovskaya said.
The fact that Belarus subscribes to the Declaration, he argued, means “that the international community must react with the greatest firmness when this obligation is not fulfilled”.
The European Union (EU), which called for an emergency debate, this week called for a “full investigation” into allegations of abuse against protesters in places of detention and the non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch called on the Human Rights Council to investigate “as soon as possible”. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, of Chile, also called for an investigation, citing “alarming reports of continued and violent repression against peaceful protesters”.
Following the debate at the Human Rights Council, the 47 members are expected to comment on a draft resolution submitted by the EU that demands that Minsk “allow independent, transparent and impartial investigations into all allegations of human rights violations. of man ”and ensures that its perpetrators are judged. The text also calls on the Belarusian authorities to engage in a “dialogue” with the opposition, to stop the excessive use of force against demonstrators and to release all political prisoners, journalists, human rights defenders, students and others. detained in connection with the presidential elections. . He also calls on the Belarusian government to work with the UN Special Rapporteur for Belarus, which he has not done since 2012, and to allow him to visit the country.
The bill also calls on Michelle Bachelet to “closely monitor” the crisis and submit a report in early 2021.
The Geneva discussion is expected to continue, as Russia, Lukashenko’s main ally, has tabled numerous amendments.