Belarusian human rights activists submit report to OSCE Moscow Mechanism
A coalition of human rights organizations has prepared a report on human rights violations in Belarus in the post-election period. The report has been submitted to a rapporteur appointed under the OSCE Moscow Mechanism.
The human rights defenders focused on the following topics: violation of the right to life, torture, violence, ill-treatment, arbitrary detention, pressure on journalists, situation with lawyers, and violations of children's rights. The report was prepared by the Human Rights Center "Viasna", the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, the Belarusian Association of Journalists in partnership with the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH.
The Moscow Mechanism provides the OSCE member countries with a legal opportunity to establish special missions from among independent experts on the human rights situation in the OSCE region. They impartially study the situation and offer specific recommendations to address the problems. It can be initiated by at least 10 OSCE participating States, and triggered in extreme situations without the consent (request) of the country concerned.
The Moscow Mechanism has already been applied to Belarus in connection with the repressions after the 2010 presidential election. Belarus then refused to cooperate with the mission and did not allow the OSCE-appointed expert to visit the country, but the mission's report influenced the adoption of UN Human Rights Council Resolution 17/24, which eventually led to the establishment of the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Belarus in 2012.