HomeUnited KingdomSpeech: Political prisoners in Belarus: UK statement to the OSCE

Speech: Political prisoners in Belarus: UK statement to the OSCE

Independent journalists also cannot escape the lengthy arm of the Lukashenko routine. Read by more than 60% of the population in 2019, Tut. by was the biggest independent media group within Belarus. Former chief publisher, Maryna Zolatava, and director-general, Lyudmila Chekina, are currently facing trial on trumped-up costs, including threatening the national security of Belarus. But , independent journalism is not a crime. We once more call for the immediate and unconditional release of all politics prisoners in Belarus.
Because the new year, the Belarusian authorities have already turned their attention to expanding their toolbox of repression. Lukashenko offers signed new laws, permitting the regime to confiscate property of individuals or organisations who engage in “unfriendly activities” towards Belarus. 2023 has already seen this continue. Even as this program takes place, numerous high-profile politically motivated trials are happening in Belarus. Nobel Peace Laureate Ales Bialiatski plus two other members associated with human rights NGO Viasna are being prosecuted on trumped-up charges of smuggling plus “financing group actions that will violate public order. ” On the first day of the trial the defendants were handcuffed and locked within a cage. Mr Chair, the Lukashenko regime is constantly on the enact harsh repression against its own people. In Belarus, individuals exercising their human rights are systematically held, abused, and subjected to violence and harassment. Civil modern society organisations face an unparalleled struggle for survival with the last count there are currently, 1, 444 political criminals in Belarus and two, 350 people have been announced “extremist”. Last year Lukashenko’s regime made at least 1, 200 political convictions on unlawful charges. 215 printed mass media outlets were shut, and since 2020 more than 1, 000 NGOs have been liquidated. The trial associated with Svetlana Tikhanovksaya and other famous opposition figures for treason began in absentia a week ago, with an empty cage symbolizing her and fellow defendants. Svetlana was forced to run away the country in 2020, provides stated that “in Belarus there are no honest trials. ” We urge the Belarusian authorities to fully put into action their international obligations plus OSCE commitments, and to use the OSCE’s tools and systems to help resolve the ongoing human rights crisis within Belarus. Finally, we commend the tireless work of civil society organisations plus human rights defenders in Belarus, despite the very actual dangers they face within conducting their vital work. The OSCE has been active in condemning the human rights situation within Belarus. In 2020, 17 States triggered the Moscow Mechanism, the report concluded that “massive and systematic” violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms had been committed by the Belarusian security forces. Mr Chair, have the Belarusian authorities, who have been given ample opportunities, responded to the suggestions in the report? No . Your rights situation in Belarus has only deteriorated. In November 2021, we after that invoked the Vienna Mechanism, yet again there was no substantive response. These are the names we all know well, but many of the over 1, 400 currently within detention are ordinary Belarusians who are being brutally reprimanded for protesting the deceptive 2020 Presidential elections. Journalists, media actors, opposition figures, and human rights defenders sentenced for peacefully working out their human rights and fundamental freedoms, those same rights underscored by our collective commitments – upon freedom of expression as well as the freedom of peaceful set up and association. Thank you Mr Chair.


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