Urgent appeal in support and solidarity with the citizens of Belarus! For the fair elections!Сен 15.2020
10 September 2020
Since 9 August 2020 the world has witnessed peaceful, non-violent protests in Belarus against the results of unfair and unfree presidential elections. All this time, the Belarusian authorities have been ignoring the large-scale peaceful protests of citizens demanding their constitutional right to vote and be elected, the right to observance and non-violation of the principles of fair, free, transparent, fair and democratic elections.
Key institutions, such as the OSCE/ODIHR, that are supposed to carry out preliminary monitoring, evaluation and preparation of the presidential elections at all levels gave their unbiased opinion on the presidential elections in Belarus, noting the violations of civil and political rights of voters, and failed to send an election observation mission, as Lukashenko has ignored his obligations and has not invited an election observation mission in a timely manner.
"Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ODIHR has made every effort to fulfill its election monitoring mandate and has conducted surveillance in several countries, as travel restrictions have been widely lifted. The lack of a timely invitation in such a challenging situation, the Director underlined, reflects a lack of commitment to co-operate with ODIHR election observers as envisaged by OSCE commitments. At the same time, Ms. Gísladóttir reiterated her deep concern at reports that prospective candidates had been intimidated and opposition activists arrested. "The protection of fundamental freedoms of assembly and expression is a precondition for genuine democratic elections," she said. The ODIHR Director Ms. Gisladottir also called on the authorities to take concrete and immediate steps to protect the exercise of fundamental freedoms in Belarus", 15 July 2020.[i]
Today, the situation of human rights and freedoms of citizens in Belarus, especially the rights of women and youth movements, becomes tragic. The latest facts of forced detention and placement in a pre-trial detention facility of a member of the Coordination Council, Ms. Maria Kolesnikova, and other members of the opposition are unacceptable. They should be urgently released, and the tools for international investigation of the large-scale human rights violations and impunity of the Belarusian authorities should be urgently applied.
We request all those who are committed to the universal values of human rights and freedoms to support the Appeal of FIDH as of 28 August 2020: "Belarus: A strong international reaction is needed to prevent further violence against civil society".[ii]
We ask that urgent intervention is taken, using the Moscow Mechanism of the OSCE/ODIHR[iii], to organize and send an expert mission to Belarus and include women experts in the fight against impunity in the Human Dimension format.
We all need a sustainable world with the values of human rights and freedoms, with respect for international obligations in the field of human rights and freedoms to end violence, discrimination against women and youth, and end impunity for officials who committed large-scale crimes against citizens in Belarus.