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The International Committee for the Investigation of Torture in Belarus
The International Committee for the Investigation
of Torture in Belarus was created as a reaction of
Belarusian and foreign human rights organizations
to torture and brutality towards civilians after the
presidential elections on August 9, 2020.
The International Committee for the Investigation of Torture in Belarus has provided the first interim report: on the state's reaction and measures taken to investigate the mass torture of August 9-13, 2020
1. Prohibition of torture is one of the few absolute and inalienable human
rights. The Republic of Belarus has ratified the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention against Torture and
Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. In this
connection, it is obliged to ensure the protection of any person from
torture and to ensure prompt and impartial investigation of torture and
other cruel treatment.
2. During four days from August 9 to 13, 2020, according to official data,
more than 7000 people were detained. As a result of the actions of law
enforcement agencies, the death of at least four people was recorded,
thousands of detainees received physical and psychological trauma
and had to undergo medical treatment, physical and psychological
rehabilitation. Such large-scale manifestations of power abuse due
to its extremely high social danger are considered by the criminal law
not as ordinary professional misconduct, but as a particularly grave
crime against the safety of mankind, provided for in Art. 128 of the
Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus.
3. Neither the current President, nor the General Prosecutor’s Office, nor
the Ministry of the Interior have issued a single public and unequivocal
statement condemning the use of all forms of torture, nor have they
issued a clear warning that any person involved in such actions will
bear responsibility according to the Criminal Code.
4. As of October 5, 2020, neither the Investigative Committee nor
the interviewed applicants have any updates about the initiation of
criminal cases on the facts of torture, as well as criminal cases on
the facts of the death of people during the protests. Currently, the
ongoing checks do not meet the standards for effective investigation
of allegations of torture in terms of speed, thoroughness, impartiality,
victims’ access to investigation and transparency.
Download the report in format .PDF
On the state's reaction on torures report