March 24, 2021
The United States welcomes and supports the establishment of the International Accountability Platform for Belarus (IAPB), an independent and impartial mechanism to collect and preserve evidence of serious human rights violations and abuses surrounding the 2020 presidential election in Belarus and the Belarusian authorities’ subsequent violent suppression of protests. The aim of the IAPB, a joint venture of expert NGOs, is to consolidate information and evidence pertaining to human rights abuses, with the goal of ultimately holding perpetrators to account.
The United States continues to stand with the Belarusian people, who seek a democratic, prosperous future in which human rights and fundamental freedoms are respected. The first step towards that future is the immediate release of all political prisoners and the end of repression against all citizens. The United States welcomes renewed calls for a genuine dialogue between the authorities and authentic representatives of the Belarusian people, including those leading the democratic movement, with the goal of free and fair elections with international observation this year.
Within the IAPB framework, the United States welcomes the leadership of Denmark, Germany, and the United Kingdom, along with the support of Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Switzerland. This effort is an international expression of solidarity with the people of Belarus and of a united commitment to accountability and the protection of human rights in Belarus. It is in line with the recommendations of the expert report on Belarus in the framework of the OSCE’s Moscow Mechanism. The OSCE is well-positioned to facilitate this process and support the democratic aspirations of the people of Belarus, and the United States urges the Belarusian authorities to engage with the OSCE on a path forward.