Delegation of the European Union to El Salvador and to the Central American Integration System (SICA)

Belarus: Statement by the High Representative/Vice-President on the EU’s support to the International Accountability Platform for Belarus

Brussels, 26/03/2021 - 11:04, UNIQUE ID: 210326_6
Statements by the HR/VP

Since the fraudulent presidential election seven months ago, Belarusian authorities have committed unacceptable human rights violations against the people of Belarus. In the face of a massive, peaceful mobilisation of the Belarusian population standing up for democracy and their fundamental freedoms, the authorities have responded with violent repression, arbitrary arrest and detention, hundreds of documented cases of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including sexual and gender-based violence. Unprovoked, arbitrary detentions of over two hundred peaceful people across Belarus yesterday on the occasion of Freedom Day demonstrate that the scale of state run repression does not decrease. The perpetrators must be held to account.

The European Union, together with its international partners, is leading the fight against impunity. Together with a group of EU Member States and other like-minded countries, the EU is supporting the International Accountability Platform for Belarus, an independent and impartial platform for the collection, verification and preservation of documentation and evidence of serious human rights violations perpetrated in Belarus during and after the August 2020 presidential election. The EU supports the Platform politically and, once preparations are finalised, also financially.

This week, the European Union has also successfully presented a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council that establishes a robust mechanism under the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. This mechanism will benefit from the documentation secured by the International Accountability Platform for Belarus, among others, and contribute to accountability for perpetrators and justice for victims.

The EU will continue to support the Belarusian people in their legitimate request for democracy and respect of fundamental freedoms, including the rights to free speech, to gather peacefully and to demonstrate without facing violence, intimidation or fear of reprisal.