Belarus – Human rights – Activation of OSCE Vienna Mechanism (Nov. 5, 2021)


In light of the seriously troubling human rights situation in Belarus, 34 participating States in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), including France, invoked the Vienna Mechanism against that country. Under this mechanism, Belarus must answer a series of questions on the implementation of its human rights commitments – commitments undertaken by the organization’s 57 participating States.

This decision was taken in the wake of Belarus’s failure to implement the recommendations of the report presented in November 2020, under the Moscow Mechanism, by Wolf Benedek, an independent OSCE expert, following the sharp deterioration in the human rights situation in Belarus beginning in August 2020.

The human rights situation has clearly continued to deteriorate and the Belarusian authorities have refused to cooperate with the OSCE in any way.

Like its EU partners, whom it joined on November 4, France once again calls on Belarus to cooperate fully with the participating States and institutions of the OSCE; to respect the freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of the media; to end arrests, arbitrary detentions, the prosecution of opposition figures and acts of torture; and to stop using migrants for political purposes.

France reaffirms its full support for the Belarusian people and for the civil society organizations that are courageously defending their fundamental rights and liberties.