ODIHR ready to work closely with Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections
On June 16, coordinators of the independent observation campaign “Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections” met with representatives of the OSCE ODIHR, which are on an official visit in Minsk.
Uladzimir Labkovich, member of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, and Aleh Hulak, chairman of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, spoke with Michael Georg Link, Director of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), Jean P. Froehly, Head of ODIHR’s Director’s Office, after a meeting with the Central Election Commission head Lidziya Yarmoshyna.
Uladzimir Labkovich said that the meeting focused on the upcoming presidential election. He stressed that the OSCE ODIHR representatives expressed their readiness to cooperate closely with the Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections campaign, which traditionally carries out independent monitoring at the national level.
In 2010, OSCE observers said the presidential election in Belarus was short of OSCE commitments and international standards. In response to the criticism, the Belarusian authorities close an OSCE office in Minsk, which officially ceased its work on 31 March 2011.
The campaign Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections is a joint initiative of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” and the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, which has carried out independent monitoring of elections in the country since 2008.