UN Human Rights Council adopts a resolution on Belarus; a new international platform started collecting facts about torture in Belarus; even more searches, interrogations and arrests ahead of Freedom Day; lawyers representing defense in “political” cases have their licenses revoked
24 March 2021 | Voice of Belarus
UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on Belarus
The UN Human Rights Council will create a department that collect evidence on the use excessive force and torture by the Belarusian authorities during the dispersal of peaceful protests. It will create an international team of about 20 investigators and other staff, for which the UN is providing a budget of $2.5 million.
This step is provided for by the new resolution of the UN Human Rights Council, adopted today by its twenty member states at the initiative of the EU. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet called on Minsk to release those illegally arrested during the protests and to investigate about 2,000 complaints of torture and ill-treatment in detention.
The Belarusian Foreign Ministry called the UN resolution odious.
An international platform has begun collecting facts on torture that can form the basis of criminal cases
The United States, Germany and 17 other countries announced the creation of the International Accountability Platform for Belarus (IAPB) to collect evidence of human rights violations in Belarus. The aim of the initiative is to bring those responsible to justice.
The independent platform will be headed by the Danish Institute Against Torture (DIGNITY), the Belarusian Viasna Human Rights Center, and international human rights organization REDRESS. The new platform will be responsible for collecting, checking and preserving information, documentation and evidence of serious violations committed before and after the 2020 presidential elections in Belarus.
The US Department of State said that the materials collected by the IAPB will be handed over to UN investigators as soon as their department is operational and will be used in independent criminal investigations and trials at national, regional and international levels.
Even more searches, interrogations and arrests take place on the eve of Freedom Day
The morning on the eve of the national Freedom Day began with a series of police searches at the homes of bloggers, activists and those who had already been arrested after the August events.
Aleh Hulak, the head of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee human rights organization, was summoned to the Investigative Committee for questioning as a witness in a criminal case. Barys Haretski, deputy chairman of the Belarusian Association of Journalists, also attended the interrogation as a witness.
In Navapolatsk, participants in the strike of the Naftan oil refinery plant who appeared in a video in support of online voting platform “Voice” were arrested. Telegram channel administrators were arrested as well.
Provocative actions are possible on Freedom Day
According to BYPOL, the State Security Committee is preparing a terrorist act in one of the buildings of the Internal Affairs bodies.
Today, sapper cars were seen near the security forces’ office buildings, and additional security measures were taken in all police departments. Is the Ministry of Internal Affairs protecting its buildings from the KGB? Earlier, Belarusian police also made a statement on possible provocative actions, but on the part of the protesters.
The Ministry of Justice revoked licenses of several lawyers, who works on “political” cases
The Qualification Commission on Advocacy issues license revocation of nine lawyers. Previously, six lawyers also lost their licenses. All the lawyers who had their license revoked were engaged in the defense of the legal rights and interests of the accused under “political” articles.
During the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council, the UN High Commissioner also spoke about pressure on Belarusian lawyers involved in political cases.
A translator was sentenced to probation for a slap on the face of a state TV channel journalist
The court sentenced the translator Volha Kalatskaya who in November 2020 slapped the state TV channel host Ryhor Azaronak. Despite the reconciliation of the parties, Kalatskaya was found guilty and sentenced to two years of probation. She was released in the courtroom.
For more information on the events of 22-24 March 2021, please visit Infocenter Free Belarus 2020: