OSCE – Deep concern regarding the human rights situation in Belarus (11 May 2023)


France was deeply concerned to learn the conclusions of Professor Hervé Ascensio’s report. It highlights the growing number of restrictions on fundamental freedoms and the ways that crackdowns have grown over the past two years as the Belarusian government has sought to maintain its control over all of Belarusian society and silence any opposition to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.

The report warns of the especially large number of political prisoners and the Belarusian authorities’ regular use of torture and inhumane treatment, in particular against individuals who are considered political opponents. It condemns the full legal arsenal put into place by Belarus in an effort to contain any form of opposition. Since the start of the Russian aggression in Ukraine, this arsenal has been directed in particular against individuals who express their opposition to the war or their support for the Ukrainian people, thereby establishing a clear link between the Russian aggression against Ukraine and the Belarusian authorities’ increasingly repressive policies.

France is resolutely committed to promoting and defending human rights and fundamental freedoms. Once again, we urgently call on Belarus fulfil its international obligations and commitments and to immediately implement the report’s recommendations regarding the release of political prisoners on humanitarian grounds and the granting of access to medical treatment for detainees. The report’s conclusions are supported by evidence collected by the International Accountability Platform for Belarus, among other sources.

France reiterates its firm condemnation of the serious human rights violations in Belarus and Alexander Lukashenko’s regime’s collusion in Russia’s illegal and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine.