Estonia, 16 other OSCE member states propose to establish expert mission to Belarus

  • 2020-09-17
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – Estonia, together with 16 other member states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), on Thursday proposed the establishment of an independent expert mission to Belarus under the so-called Moscow Mechanism of OSCE, which would investigate human rights violations and electoral fraud.

In a joint statement made in Vienna, the states stated that, despite repeated calls on the Belarusian authorities to engage in dialogue and end the violence against the Belarusian people, the authorities have opted for systematic targeting and violent repression of peaceful protesters, spokespeople for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. Especially concerning are rumors of illegal detention of journalists, political and human rights activists, torture of detainees and their inhuman and degrading treatment in detention facilities.

The purpose of the mechanism is, among other things, to get the Belarusian authorities to cooperate. The initiating countries also encourage experts to provide recommendations and advice to Belarus, the OSCE and the international community on possible solutions.

At least 10 OSCE participating states are needed to launch an independent expert mission under the Moscow Mechanism. The initiating countries include Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Poland, the Netherlands, Canada, Belgium, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Romania.