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Estonia with 16 other countries propose an independent expert mission in Belarus under the aegis of OSCE

17. September 2020 - 22:40

Today 17 September, Estonia and 16 other participating states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) invoked the so-called Moscow Mechanism to establish a mission of experts to investigate human rights violations and election fraud in Belarus.

In the joint statement made in Vienna, the states highlighted the fact that despite repeated calls for dialogue and an end to the violence against the people of Belarus, the response of the Belarusian authorities has been to systematically target those who would engage in dialogue, and to continue its violent repression of peaceful protestors. Reports of illegal arrests of journalists and political and human rights activists, and allegations of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in detention centres are particularly alarming.

One of the aims of the mechanism is to get the authorities of Belarus to cooperate. In their statement, the countries also encourage experts to offer recommendations and give advice to Belarus, to the OSCE, and to the international community on possible solutions to the concerns raised.

At least 10 participating states of OSCE are needed to establish an independent mission of experts under the Moscow Mechanism. The initiators include Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Poland, the Netherlands, Canada, Belgium, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Romania.

The joint statement in full:

Additional information:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia
Communication Department

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