Belarus: Accountability for crimes under international law must be ensured

The ICJ called on the UN Human Rights Council today to renew the mandate of the OHCHR examination team on the situation of human rights in Belarus and to work towards ensuring accountabiltiy for crimes under international law.

The statement reads as follows:

“Mr President,

The ICJ welcomes the report of the OHCHR examination team on the situation of human rights in Belarus, including its findings and recommendations.

The report testifies to systematic and widespread human rights violations, designed to suppress the exercise of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. These include unnecessary and disproportionate use of force, arbitrary detention, torture or ill-treatment, including rape and sexual and gender-based violence, and the systematic denial of the rights to due process and to a fair trial. Lawyers representing those arrested have routinely faced harassment and reprisals.

These violations are compounded by a deliberate government policy of impunity for the perpetrators, and the lack of an independent judiciary.

Many of these gross and systematic violations amount to crimes under international law.  Those responsible, including State officials with superior responsibility who ordered, facilitated, acquiesced or otherwise participated in them, should be the subject of prompt, thorough, independent and impartial investigations and be brought to justice.

The ICJ calls on the Council to work towards

  • securing the implementation of the recommendations of the OHCHR Report in particular as regards accountability and;
  • ensuring the continuance of the important work of the examination team, with a view to further gathering and assessing the evidence of crimes under international law.

I thank you.”


Massimo Frigo, ICJ UN Representative, e: massimo.frigo(a), t: +41797499949

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