Belarusian president accused of crimes towards humanity in response to anti-government protests, attorneys say.
Ten Belarusians have requested Germany’s federal prosecutor to open a legal investigation towards President Alexander Lukashenko and Belarusian safety officers for alleged crimes towards humanity throughout a crackdown on anti-government protests.
Attorneys who introduced the case for the ten individuals, who at the moment are residing throughout Europe, cited common jurisdiction legal guidelines that permit international locations to prosecute crimes towards humanity, together with warfare crimes and genocide, no matter the place they have been dedicated.
Germany has been significantly energetic in pursuing such instances linked to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s authorities.
The attorneys mentioned their purchasers had documented greater than 100 examples of “violence, systematic torture and different abuses” through the Belarusian authorities’s crackdown on protests, which broke out after Lukashenko received a presidential election final August that the opposition claims was rigged.
“The incumbent authorities is severely oppressing its personal inhabitants with a crackdown together with arbitrary arrests, politically motivated legal persecution and different types of repression,” they added.
The attorneys mentioned their purchasers had all been imprisoned and reported cases of “spurious arrests, torture and abuse” whereas they have been held.
The Belarusian authorities didn’t instantly touch upon the case.
Police have arrested 1000’s of individuals for collaborating within the demonstrations towards Lukashenko.
Authorities characterised contributors as criminals or violent revolutionaries backed by the West and described the actions of legislation enforcement companies as sufficient and vital.
Syrian case supplies ‘precedent’
Germany’s common jurisdiction legal guidelines have been utilized in February to safe a responsible verdict towards a former member of Assad’s safety companies for abetting the torture of civilians.
Citing that case, the attorneys representing the ten Belarusians mentioned of their submitting that the group was looking for an impartial investigation and the prosecution of these discovered responsible.
The Syrian precedent confirmed that “if the desire of the legislation enforcement companies is there, they’ll do it,” mentioned Onur Ozata, one of many attorneys.
Opposition chief Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who’s in self-imposed exile in Lithuania, welcomed the authorized submitting.
“There’ll by no means be impunity in Belarus, and right this moment’s information is a transparent instance of this,” she mentioned in a press release.
In March, the United Nations’ high human rights physique agreed to arrange a crew of investigators to assemble proof in regards to the alleged extreme use of power and torture by authorities in Belarus.
Yury Ambrazevich, the Belarusian ambassador to the UN in Geneva, described that transfer as “one more try and intrude within the home affairs of our state”.
Regardless of being slapped with sanctions by the European Union and the US over its response to the protests, Lukashenko’s authorities has held agency towards stress from overseas to alter course.
The 66-year-old chief, who’s backed by ally Russia, has as an alternative claimed to have withstood a revolution directed by the West.