OSCE Moscow Mechanism Report Details Widespread Rights Violations in Belarus
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)’s Moscow Mechanism report on Belarus released on November 5 describes sustained human rights violations and abuses committed on a massive scale and with impunity by the Belarusian authorities during the fraudulent August 9 election and its aftermath. The abuses against peaceful demonstrators, opposition activists, and journalists include torture, arbitrary detention, and curtailment of the exercise of freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly.
The recommendations in this report provide the Belarusian authorities with a roadmap out of this crisis. This includes: a robust OSCE/ODIHR (Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights) observation mission; an end to the violence against their own people and ensuring accountability for those found responsible for past abuses; the release of all those who have been unjustly detained; and engagement in meaningful national dialogue with authentic representatives of the political opposition and civil society.
The report was prepared by Wolfgang Benedek, a professor of international law at the University of Graz. He was appointed rapporteur by the 17 OSCE participating States that invoked the OSCE’s Moscow Mechanism in September following the presidential election in Belarus and widespread claims of a subsequent deterioration in the human rights situation there.