France welcomes the invocation of the Moscow Mechanism vis-à-vis Belarus today, 23 March 2023, by 38 OSCE participating States, in the wake of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights' publication of his report on the alarming deterioration of the human rights situation in the country. The Mechanism is aimed at investigating allegations of serious violations of the commitments made by States in the OSCE framework in the human rights field, and identifying actions to remedy them.
This mission of independent experts will be tasked with drawing up a report on violations of basic freedoms and human rights by the Belarusian authorities. The report intends to (i) emphasize developments in breach of the recommendations made in the Moscow Mechanism's previous report on Belarus in 2020, and (ii) identify actions taken by the Belarusian Government, in the context of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, which have exacerbated the situation of human rights and basic freedoms in the country.
The group of invoking States envisages appointing a French expert as the Mechanism's rapporteur, and France cannot therefore be among the invoking States on this occasion. In 2020, France took part in the previous invocation of the Moscow Mechanism vis-à-vis Belarus, in the context of the post-election crackdown.
France reiterates its strong condemnation of the serious human rights violations in Belarus and of the complicity of Alexander Lukashenko's regime in the illegal and unjustified military aggression being conducted by Russia against Ukraine.