UN report: 'crimes against humanity' in Belarus

The UN Human Rights Council released a report March 15 on the situation in Belarus during and since the country's presidential election in 2020. It concludes that the crime against humanity of "persecution" may have been committed in the country.

The advance unedited version of the report presents evidence on a wide range of issues, including arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearance, torture, and discrimination on grounds of political opinion. In particular, the report highlights the wave of arrests in the period following August 2020, when contested presidential election results sparked mass protests in the country. The report says that at least 550 civil society organizations have been forced to close for fear of persecution or violence

The report sees violations of the International Human Rights Standards on Elections, and potential crimes against humanity. It finds that the government of President Alexander Lukashenko continues to pursue "an active policy to shield perpetrators and prevent accountability."

The investigation commenced after the Human Rights Council passed Resolution 52/29 in April 2023, and expressed "deep concerns at the further deterioration in the situation of human rights in Belarus."

From Jurist, March 17. Used with permission.