ICJ concerned at continuing widespread and systematic human rights violations in Belarus (UN statement)

The ICJ today addressed the UN Human Rights Council during the interactive dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus.

The statement reads as follows:

“Madam President,

The ICJ is concerned at the continuing widespread and systematic human rights violations committed in Belarus since the 2020 Presidential election, in particular:

  • The unnecessary and disproportionate use of force by security forces against peaceful protestors; the arbitrary arrest and detention of thousands of people and denials of access to a lawyer; systematic torture and ill-treatment following arrest or during detention; enforced disappearances.
  • The unwarranted control by the executive over the judiciary; the lack of independence of the legal profession; and the targeting of lawyers for their human rights work through disbarment, criminal and administrative proceedings.
  • The arbitrary detention of Roman Protasevich and Sofya Sapega after the plane on which they were travelling had to carry out a forced landing in Minsk as a result of false terrorism alert.

Belarus has systematically failed to engage with international procedures, including the UN Special Rapporteur on Belarus and the Moscow Mechanism.

Therefore, the ICJ urges Belarus to:

  • Immediately release all individuals arbitrarily detained; drop any charges which they may face as a result of exercise of their human rights, and provide access to effective remedies for human rights violations;
  • Undertake impartial, independent, effective and prompt investigations into allegations of human rights violations and hold those responsible to account;
  • Fully engage with international mechanisms, in particular those established specifically on Belarus.

I thank you.”


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

AdvocacyNon-legal submissions