Amnesty International urges to investigate torture in Belarus
Belarus and the Human Rights Council: Towards accountability for human rights violations (EN)
A new report by human rights defenders speaks of the need to use international&# 160; justice&# 160;
The human rights organization Amnesty International has released a new report demonstrating how the Belarusian authorities “use the justice system to prosecute victims of torture, rather than perpetrators of torture, as part of a widespread and brutal crackdown on the protest movement.”.
Amnesty International called attempts to obtain justice within Belarus “hopeless” and called on the international community to take active steps to ensure justice for victims and bring those responsible to justice.
Although official Minsk, as indicated in the report, admitted that more than 900 complaints of police abuse have been filed since the start of the demonstrations in August 2020, not a single criminal case has been opened against law enforcement officials. At the same time, hundreds of criminal cases were opened against peaceful demonstrators, many of whom were victims of torture and ill-treatment..
“Since the beginning of the post-election protests in Belarus, human rights groups have collected evidence of the torture of hundreds of peaceful demonstrators and documented the deaths of at least four people. We have repeatedly called on the authorities to conduct real investigations to bring those responsible to justice, but there is little hope for that, as the system not only guarantees police anonymity, but also encourages intimidation and further violence against victims and witnesses, ”said Marie Struthers, Director of Amnesty International for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
As noted in the report of Amnesty International, instead of ensuring the prosecution of persons suspected of violating human rights, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Belarus announced on 28 October 2020 that 657 criminal cases had been opened against the protesters, and more than 200 people were already accused of mass riots and violence against police officers. Civil society organizations have documented dozens of cases against peaceful demonstrators on politically motivated, trumped-up charges.
Human rights defenders emphasize that Belarus is obliged to protect the human rights of all persons on its territory in accordance with international law, including ensuring the absolute prohibition of torture, investigating and punishing those responsible..
“The unprecedented scale of ongoing human rights violations and complete impunity for domestic perpetrators require the adoption or establishment of international mechanisms of investigation and prosecution,” said Marie Struthers. “The international community cannot stand aside”.
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