Marking anniversary of Belarusian election, OSCE PA human rights leaders regret that the situation in the country continues to deteriorate

.COPENHAGEN, 9 August 2021 – On today’s one-year anniversary of the disputed presidential election in Belarus that sparked months of widespread popular protests and a harsh government crackdown, the leaders of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s human rights committee raised concerns over the deteriorating situation in the country and called for immediate steps to end the human rights crisis.

Sereine Mauborgne (France), Chair of the committee, said: “In recent months, authorities in Minsk have further intensified targeting of criticism and expanded the crackdown beyond any borders. The forced closures of NGOs and media organizations, arrests of journalists, imprisonment of activists and human rights defenders all signal a crisis situation for human rights in Belarus.”

Vice-Chair Michael Georg Link (Germany) said: “One year after Belarus’s presidential election we observe an unacceptable increase of serious violations of international human rights obligations and OSCE commitments. It is a tragedy that the peaceful intentions of people to demand political changes have led to such an outrageous crackdown.”

Johan Buser (Sweden), who serves as Rapporteur, said: “The situation of freedom of the media and expression is extremely worrying in Belarus. Journalists are routinely arbitrarily detained while media organizations are shut down and denounced as extremists. The authorities of Belarus must immediately cease harassment of the media and must respect freedom of speech.”

The leaders of the OSCE PA’s Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions urged authorities in Minsk to end the mass repression in the country, release all political prisoners, and engage in dialogue with the opposition on important political changes and constitutional reforms. They regretted that throughout July, the authorities continued to prosecute individuals for political reasons. Human rights organizations report that there are some 600 political prisoners in the country and that their numbers continue to increase.

The committee leaders expressed their concern about the increasing international isolation of the country and expressed their willingness in continuing to work with parliamentary colleagues, also in Belarus, to overcome the existing challenges.



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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