Slovakia demanding investigation into the state of human rights in Belarus

Slovakia, together with 13 other member states of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe initiated yesterday a launch of the so called Moscow Mechanism. It is the key tool used by OSCE in human rights area to investigate breaches of human rights and freedoms in Belarus.It would enable sending to Belarus a in international expert mission. The specialists would review the situation and present their findings to the OSCE member states and will present a set of recommendations to the Belarusian government about how to improve the compliance with its commitments to the OSCE.

14 OSCE countries decided to initiate the Moscow Mechanism after the escalation of breaches of human rights and freedoms by the Belarusian leaders. Since the Presidential elections in December last, the campaign of repressions continues not only against the Opposition politicians and activists, but also journalists, lawyers and students. It includes following, arrests and trials with tough verdicts often without an adequate access of the accused to legal aid and attorneys. There are also suspicions of blackmails and torture in prisons. Despite the situation the government of Belarus decided on 1 April 1022 to stop the work of the OSCE mission that was in the country for over 8 years. OSCE thus lost an opportunity to monitor the respect to international commitments which Belarus acceded to and the Organisation lost a communication channel with the Belarusian government.

With the launch of the Moscow Mechanism, Slovakia and the other OSCE member states aim to bring the Belarusian leaders to dialogue that would lead to freeing prisoners of conscience and to respect to the fundamental human rights and freedoms, including the freedom of expression and assembly.

The Moscow Mechanim, as an important OSCE human-rights tool was adopted by consensus by all OSCE member states in Moscow in 1991. Its launch requires an agreement by at least 10 member states. On 6 April, the mechanism was launched for the sixth time. This is the first time that Slovakia takes part in the launch of the Moscow Mechanism.


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