Together with a group of EU Member States and other like-minded countries, the EU is supporting the International Accountability Platform for Belarus, according to a statement issued by High Representative Josep Borrell on 26 March. This Platform is an independent and impartial platform for the collection, verification and preservation of documentation and evidence of serious human rights violations perpetrated in Belarus during and after the August 2020 presidential election.
“The EU supports the Platform politically and, once preparations are finalised, also financially,” says Borrell.
The High Representative reminded that in the face of a massive, peaceful mobilisation of the Belarusian population standing up for democracy and their fundamental freedoms, the authorities have responded with violent repression, arbitrary arrest and detention, hundreds of documented cases of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including sexual and gender-based violence. “Unprovoked, arbitrary detentions of over two hundred peaceful people across Belarus yesterday on the occasion of Freedom Day demonstrate that the scale of a state–run repression does not decrease. The perpetrators must be held to account,” said Borrell.
Last week, the European Union also presented a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council that establishes a robust mechanism under the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. This mechanism will benefit from the documentation secured by the International Accountability Platform for Belarus, among others, and contribute to accountability for perpetrators and justice for victims.
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