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The United States and 37 other countries have invoked the OSCE Moscow Mechanism requesting that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) establish an expert mission to examine the dire and continuous deterioration of the human rights situation in Belarus.

This invocation follows OSCE’s November 2020 Moscow Mechanism Mission Report, which documented the Lukashenka regime’s systematic human rights violations and abuses before, during, and following the fraudulent August 9, 2020 presidential election.  That report called on the Lukashenka regime to organize new genuine presidential elections based on international standards, release those unjustly detained, engage with the political opposition and civil society, and ensure accountability for victims of abuses.

This new invocation will establish an expert mission to look into the human rights situation in Belarus and mounting evidence of the Lukashenka regime’s brutal crackdown on all elements of Belarusian society since 2020, as well as allegations of serious abuses linked to the Lukashenka regime’s complicity in Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.  The expert mission will have a mandate to assess Belarus’s adherence to its OSCE commitments and how the Lukashenka regime’s actions may have adversely affected Belarus’s civil society, press freedoms, the rule of law, and the ability of democratic processes and institutions to function.

We encourage the Belarus authorities to cooperate fully with the expert mission and facilitate its work.  The United States and our partners will continue our efforts to hold the Lukashenka regime accountable for its human rights violations and abuses.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future