HRDs launch International Accountability Platform for Belarus



On 24 March 2021, independent human rights organisations launched the International Accountability Platform for Belarus (IAPB). 19 states issued a joint declaration in which they expressed their full political support for the establishment of the platform, reaffirming their unequivocal condemnation of the systematic and gross human rights violations and abuses in Belarus as well as the disrespect for democratic principles and the rule of law.

As serious and unprecedented human rights violations and impunity are continuing in Belarus, there is an urgent need to ensure secure and appropriate collection and preserving of evidence and documentation, in accordance with international standards. The IAPB will support the ongoing Belarusian efforts in collecting, consolidating, verifying and preserving information, documentation and evidence of serious human rights violations of international human rights law committed in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election in Belarus and its aftermath. 

IAPB is launched as a follow-up to the recommendations of the OSCE Moscow Mechanism rapporteur, Professor Wolfgang Benedek, as presented in his report to the OSCE Permanent Council on 5 November 2020 concerning alleged human rights violations related to the 9 August presidential elections in Belarus. Establishing such a mechanism was proposed and actively supported by the CSP members and other civil society actors as mentioned in the Agenda for International Support of a Human Rights and Democracy Transition in Belarus.

The documentation collected by the IAPB will serve any future independent criminal investigations and criminal proceedings, in accordance with international law standards, in national, regional or international courts or tribunals that have or may in the future have jurisdiction over those crimes. The Platform will not replace a possible future UN investigation aimed at contributing to accountability for perpetrators and justice for victims in Belarus; instead, it will fill a gap by collecting and preserving evidence until such UN mandate has been established and become operational. At the expiry of the Platform, the collated and preserved data will be handed over to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The IAPB will be led by DIGNITY – Danish Institute against Torture and co-lead by REDRESSBelarusian Human Rights Center Viasna and International Committee for Investigation of Torture in Belarus.

More information about IAPB is available HERE.