The head of ICCI «Our House» signed a letter from civil society organizations, which calls for the immediate implementation of the new mandate of the Council about Belarus. The letter states that the mandate to create new robust monitoring and reporting on human rights violations in Belarus from May 2020 requires immediate action.
During the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council, the EU proposed a draft of the resolution providing for the creation of a reliable reporting mechanism under the High Commissioner for human rights. The main goal is to collect, analyze and preserve the evidence of human rights violations in Belarus. The resolution on the creation of the mandate was adopted by the HRC. Therefore, as the letter says, «the Council demonstrated its determination to hold Belarusian authorities to account».
Establishing a mandate is a kind of response to human rights violations in our country. It will provide an additional international mechanism for existing regional accountability processes and help to identify the perpetrators of the most serious rights violations to punish them in the future. As it was stated in the appeal of the organizations, the mandate requires immediate action, which, as the authors of the letter hope, will find support from the international community.
Civil society members are asking for adequate funding for the new mandate, the appointment of international experts to investigate the full extent of human rights violations, and the implementation of the mandate with the help of investigators, experts, gender specialists and legal analysts. The letter also requests to inform the HRC, if the Belarusian authorities will not want to cooperate in the implementation of the mandate. Also, civil society members ask for providing copies of reports to the Belarusian and international civil society.
«This is an important moment for the United Nations. The Belarusian people demand accountability for past and on-going human rights violations. Member States and the Office of the High Commissioner must ensure that this new mandate meets these demands», the message says.