Updated at 19:56,22-01-2021

U.S. Mission to the OSCE concerned about human rights violations in Belarus


U.S. Mission to the OSCE issued a statement which expresses its deep concern over violations of human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law in Belarus.

In a statement, the text of which the Human Rights Center "Viasna" publishes, the attention of the OSCE Permanent Council is drawn to the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Belarus.

The report notes that after the presidential elections, the situation of human rights has deteriorated further. This primarily affected the right to freedom of association, assembly and expression and the right to a fair trial. Reports of torture and ill-treatment in detention places are still coming.

U.S. Mission notes, the High Commissioner's report covers the period from December 19, 2010 to March 23, 2012, but since then the situation continues to deteriorate.

"We continue to believe that government action to limit freedom of movement of its citizens should be condemned", said in the mission's statement. Its representatives appeal to the Belarusian authorities to stop harassing and fully restore civil and political rights of all former political prisoners and not to restrict freedom of movement of its citizens.

The continuing harsh treatment of independent journalists also causes the concern of the mission. The statement referred to the detention of journalists in the Svetlogorsk district and during the rally of the Union of Poles in Hrodna.

In the statement of the U.S. mission the concern is expressed over administrative arrests of the "Young Front" activists Michael Musski, Dmitry Kremenetsky, Roman Vasilyev, Nikolai Demidenko and Pavel Vinogradov, also human rights activist Oleg Volchek and academic director of BISS Aleksey Pikulik.

The Mission urged the Belarusian government "to fulfill its commitments under the OSCE, to immediately and unconditionally release all prisoners of conscience, to ensure the full restoration of their civil and political rights and to end the continued persecution of political activists, representatives of civil society, human rights activists and independent journalists".