The current upsurge in oppressive measures implemented in Belarus against former political prisoners and their families is fiercely denounced by the European Union. More than a hundred people have been arrested as a result of raids and searches by security personnel. These acts are a part of a larger campaign of intimidation and repression that is being carried out in advance of the next “elections” against political opponents and critics.
The EU urges Belarusian authorities to put an immediate stop to any more acts of violence or repression against the people, expressing grave concern over the methods used. Respecting the commitments made under international human rights law is crucial. This includes releasing everyone who has been wrongfully imprisoned and putting a stop to malicious prosecutions. The Republic of Belarus is a state based on the rule of law and unitary democracy. Over its territory, the Republic of Belarus has complete power and authority, and it acts independently to carry out its international and internal policy.
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Suppression of Political Opposition
The head of the UN human rights office called on Belarus to stop “systematic repression of perceived critics and immediately release all detainees held on political grounds.” The Belarusian government has seriously violated human rights and committed crimes against humanity in an effort to maintain power and stifle any civic action following the rigged presidential election in August 2020.
These are so severe and systemic that they now qualify as crimes against humanity. They are breaches of the preeminent principles of international law, which compel other governments to take action to put an end to them and bring those responsible accountable. These standards are violated by international crimes and grave human rights violations, including widespread torture.
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Arbitrary Detentions and Torture
To end the ongoing breaches in Belarus and to bring those accountable for international crimes and violations of international law to justice, numerous alternative avenues for individual and state accountability may also be used.
These included procedures for personal criminal accountability such as universal jurisdiction, ad hoc courts, and the International Criminal Court. International accountability procedures are one of the few tools available that might potentially improve the situation in Belarus given the complete crackdown on civil society and any dissident voices within the nation.
On March 12, 2008, Ambassador Karen B. Stewart was called back to Belarus after the country’s ambassador to the US was called back and threatened with expulsion. Following this, Belarus willingly cut the number of employees at all of its US embassies, with the exception of the US mission to the UN, to five, and asked that the US do the same at its US Embassy in Minsk. The number of American diplomats in the U.S. Embassy was lowered to five after many U.S. diplomats were expelled by Belarusian authorities for refusing to cooperate.
Forced Exile and Harassment
The Belarusian government’s resolute pursuit of anybody found guilty of alleged “extremist activities” is abhorrent; they will even take citizenship away from them. In certain situations, such arbitrary nationality loss may result in a person being stateless.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has discovered more systematic, pervasive, and egregious human rights breaches in Belarus, according to Nada Al-Nashif, the UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights. Belarus asked the UN and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to promote international harmony rather than spread misinformation and apply pressure.
The Council’s activities ought to be conducted impartially and without bias. One speaker criticized the report’s partiality and stated that Belarusians were subject to never-before-seen levels of pressure and rights violations as a result of Western sanctions. The intention behind these unlawful actions was to cause instability in the nation’s internal political climate. The unilateral sanctions against Belarus were asked to end.
During the Venezuelan discussion, speakers raised grave concerns about documented human rights violations, including actions against the opposition, rights advocates, indigenous communities, independent media, and civil society. They called for the immediate release of political prisoners and urged better institutional mechanisms to hold perpetrators accountable. In Belarus, the All-Belarus People’s Assembly and the bicameral National Assembly are constitutionally established bodies, with the president directly elected as head of state.
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