On 5 November 2020, the Permanent Council of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) considered a report on human rights violations related to the Presidential Elections of 9 August 2020 in Belarus.
The report has been prepared by an independent rapporteur, Professor Wolfgang Benedek, in accordance with the Moscow Mechanism invoked by 17 OSCE participating States, including Latvia. Evidence provided in the report confirms allegations of grave widespread human rights abuses. The report finds that the presidential elections of 9 August 2020 were not free or fair and that their results are in fact fraudulent.
The findings reveal evidence of violence against peaceful protesters by Belarusian authorities and confirms their participation in torture as well as other inhuman treatment including enforced disappearances. The testimonies of victims confirm concerns about general impunity of security forces.
The report contains a number of recommendations, including the advice to cancel the results of the presidential elections of 9 August 2020 and organize new and genuine presidential elections based on international standards.
See the Statement signed by 17 OSCE participating States here:
The OSCE Report is accessible here.
The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is a regional organisation of 57 states, with the goal of conflict prevention in combination with rapid response mechanisms, crisis settlement, and post-conflict stabilisation. In the organisation’s purview to security are questions in various spheres, politico-military, economic, and environmental as well as in human rights.
The Moscow Mechanism is an OSCE instrument established during an OSCE meeting in 1991. It is invoked in exceptional cases when concerns exist about serious derogations from the OSCE human dimension commitments in a participating State. The mechanism can be invoked by at least 10 OSCE participating States.
On 17 September 2020, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, the United Kingdom, and the United States invoked the Moscow Mechanism procedures in order to establish the facts concerning human rights violations and abuses in Belarus.