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German lawyers file application with German prosecutor's office against Lukashenka - for crimes against humanity

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The NAM continues the campaign to have Lukashenka recognized as a terrorist as part of plan "Spring 2021. Belarusian Liberation".

A group of German lawyers, as authorised representatives of torture victims, submitted an application to the Federal Prosecutor General in Karlsruhe (Germany) to prosecute Alexander Lukashenka and officers of the Belarusian security services for crimes against humanity.

A group of German lawyers is aware of more than 100 documented cases of torture by representatives of the security services in Belarus. The German lawyers were approached by 10 victims of torture to submit a complaint to the German Federal Prosecutor General about systematic torture organised in Belarus at the state level, so that the prosecutor’s office could carry out a comprehensive investigation under German jurisdiction.

According to the lawyers, all their clients are prepared to fully cooperate for further investigation. All the German lawyers' clients reported being arrested on spurious grounds, tortured and abused while in detention. They were also held in overcrowded cells or vehicles and subjected to physical violence, threats, insults, physical and psychological humiliation. Detention was accompanied by arbitrary beatings, deprivation of food and sleep, and denial of medical care. Each of the German lawyers' clients suffered serious health consequences because of this treatment. In general, the behaviour of the representatives of the Belarusian state can only be described as excessively cruel.

Lawyers expect the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office to apply its powers and prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes in accordance with the principle of universal jurisdiction. Even though they are not directly related to Germany. Germany has already demonstrated in Syria that such crimes against humanity can be prosecuted and punished. Just a few weeks ago, former Syrian regime intelligence officer Eyad al-Gharib was brought before the Higher Regional Court in Koblenz for torture and unlawful imprisonment and sentenced to four and a half years' imprisonment.

According to the German lawyers, their clients expect Germany to protect universal human rights in Belarus. They demand justice: an independent investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators of these grave crimes. This has not happened so far in Belarus. But that, according to German lawyers, was not to be expected. The judiciary, they note, is not independent in Belarus.

German lawyers applied today to the Federal Prosecutor General to immediately initiate a comprehensive investigation of Alexander Lukashenka and other perpetrators of torture.

Pavel Latushka: Head of the NAM Member of the Presidium of the Coordination Council
Pavel Latushka: Head of the NAM Member of the Presidium of the Coordination Council

Pavel Latushka, head of the National Anti-Crisis Management, is convinced that this is a step towards recognising Lukashenka as a terrorist.

— One of the key points of the plan of the National Anti-Crisis Management "Spring-2021. Belarusian Liberation" is the recognition of Lukashenko as a terrorist. He is a person who poses a threat to the security of citizens of Belarus, as well as to foreign nationals in the country. A man who, in fact, contributes to the organization of acts of international terrorism outside Belarus. This is confirmed both by concrete facts of murders, bodily injuries, and violence against Belarusian and foreign citizens, and by the statements of the Interior Ministry leadership that acts of international terrorism will be carried out outside of Belarus to physically eliminate opponents of the regime.

We are grateful to the German lawyers who have prepared an impressive dossier of 10 specific cases with examples and facts of crimes committed against Belarusian citizens. Today this dossier has been forwarded to the German Federal Public Prosecutor General. We consider it a priority to recognize Lukashenko as a terrorist at the international level. This is not a task of one day, it is a long process, but a new stage has been reached after the collection of evidence — this is the beginning of the official procedure for the prosecution of an international terrorist.

This is also a signal to all representatives of the security apparatus that the relevant processes will be initiated against them in the near future after the factual basis of the committed crimes and torture is formed.

It is also a signal to the business circles of foreign countries, which in one way or another cooperate with the illegitimate government of Belarus and state structures of the regime. The crimes in Belarus must be stopped. We must achieve the release of all political prisoners, an end to repression and new and fair elections," says Pavel Latushka.

Mikhail Kirilyuk, who oversees justice issues at the NAM, expects the German prosecutor’s office to launch an investigation of crimes against humanity in Belarus.
 — We know that German lawyers have done a lot of work to process and investigate a large number of materials coming from the Belarusian citizens who suffered from the illegal actions of the security forces and we are very grateful to them for that.

Since Belarus, like the overwhelming majority of countries, has signed the convention against torture, there are all legal grounds to apply universal jurisdiction to the criminals who, under the name of the state, tortured and keep torturing people in Belarus. In practice this means that any country-signatory of the convention may open criminal proceedings against people suspected of torture in its territory.

We very much hope that the German Prosecutor’s Office will carefully study the submitted materials and will launch a really objective and comprehensive investigation of the crimes against humanity in Belarus," said Mikhail Kirilyuk.

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