A report published on Friday by the United Nations Rights Office said that human rights violations carried out by Belarusian authorities, including the systematic repression of protestors and dissidents, could amount to crimes against humanity.
The report covers the period between May 2020 and the end of 2022, including a disputed presidential election that gave Alyaksandr Lukashenka his sixth term in office, as well as the brutal crackdown on demonstrators and critics that followed.
New report by the @UN Human Rights Office points to crimes against humanity committed by the Belarus regime, including systematic use of torture & sexual violence. I join the call for UN Member States to use universal jurisdiction to hold the regime accountable for its crimes. https://t.co/O31JXW48Xi
— Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya (@Tsihanouskaya) March 17, 2023
The violations outlined in the report include the security services’ “widespread unnecessary and disproportionate use of force,” torture, arbitrary arrests, and impunity, among many others.
The report said that the abuses “appear to have been part of a campaign of violence and repression” against those critical of the government.
The Belarusian foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A friend of Putin
Lukashenka, a staunch ally of Moscow, has ruled the former Soviet country with an iron hand since 1994, locking up his political opponents or forcing them to flee.
Hundreds were detained and beaten by security forces during demonstrations that took place after Lukashenka was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential vote, a result that the opposition and Western countries declared fraudulent.