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17 countries initiate OSCE human rights investigation in Belarus

Belarus will be subject to an international investigation into human rights abuses and election fraud, according to a mechanism triggered by 17 mostly European countries on Thursday.
The group, which includes Britain, France and the United States, announced the step at a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna.
Belarus has not complied with the OSCE’s previous offer to mediate between the government and the political opposition, the 17 OSCE members said in a statement.
Instead, “the response of the Belarusian authorities has been to systematically target those who would engage in dialogue and to continue ... violent repression of peaceful protesters, including women and young people,” the statement said.
The OSCE’s so-called Moscow Mechanism for rights investigations was last triggered in 2018, to probe reported violations in Russia’s Chechnya region.
The Belarusian opposition is compiling a blacklist of police officers implicated in an ongoing violent crackdown on protesters, opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya said on Thursday.
“We have been given the names of those who have been torturing and beating people,” Tikhanovskaya said in a statement posted on her movement’s Telegram channel.
At least 7,000 protesters have been detained since last month’s disputed presidential election. The United Nations has received 450 reports of torture and other abuse of detainees.