Is a tribunal for Lukashenka’s crimes real?
The legal definition took shape in 1915, when the whole world learned about the horrors of the Armenian genocide. Since then, the term has only become more popular: Nazi-occupied Europe, the events in Cambodia, Rwanda, Sudan, Yugoslavia — throughout the twentieth century, countries "competed" in the scale and sophistication of the oppression of entire peoples: from illegal deportations, imprisonment and shelter to physical destruction in the most brutal ways.
So far, in a milder, but progressive and already threatening form, these processes have been unfolding in Belarus since 2020.
The United Nation’s team, as part of the investigation of crimes against humanity around the world, came to Warsaw to talk with victims, witnesses and lawyers who can provide materials for the investigation of the torture of Belarusian demonstrators, human rights activists and journalists.
This will be done by United Nations investigators who participated in the work of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, as well as the tribunals for Kosovo, Lebanon and Sudan.
Particular attention will be paid to the following cases:
- sexual and gender-based violence;
- unfair trials and denial of access to justice in general.
At the same time, Belarus has more in common with the last of these countries than it seems.
The international community has officially accused Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir of provoking a civil war and genocide and put him on the international wanted list.
Similar accusations were also made against the murdered Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Of course, in Belarus we are not yet talking about massacres of citizens or provoking a civil war. However, even the current crimes of the Lukashenka regime allow us to talk about their scale and systematic nature — both in gross violation of human rights and in their ongoing grave consequences (the bombing of Ukraine from Belarus has not stopped). From a legal point of view, this puts the Belarusian dictator on a par with the "tribunal league" from among his North African "colleagues".
The only difference so far is the smaller proven number of deaths due to the fault of the Belarusian dictator.
Testimonies of eyewitnesses confirming torture and human rights violations (if they are recognized by the UN) make the prospect of putting Lukashenka on the wanted list more real. Even despite the fact that Belarus, like Sudan, did not sign the Rome Statute.
In addition, the data received by the UN experts from Belarusians can be used in other investigations within the framework of Universal Jurisdiction: in Lithuania, Poland and other countries with the participation of the NAM.
All testimonies of our compatriots and the lawyers who worked with them will be carefully checked for compliance with international standards for the protection of information and the safety of those interviewed and, if satisfied, will be included in the report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Findings in the investigators' report will be included in the report provided that the standard of proof of sufficient evidence is met.
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