Lithuania and 16 other OSCE participating states invoked the Moscow Mechanism in relation to serious human rights violations in Belarus
On 17 September, Lithuania, together with 16 other participating states of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), invoked the Moscow Mechanism in relation to serious human rights violations in Belarus.
The OSCE Moscow Mechanism is a tool, allowing for the establishment of a short-term fact finding mission to help address a specific human rights concern in the OSCE region. It is part of what is generally referred to as the OSCE Human Dimension Mechanism. The Mechanism allows for an investigation to be launched without consensus and independently of the OSCE Chairmanship, institutions and decision-making bodies, if at least ten states "consider that a particularly serious threat to the fulfillment of the provisions of the [OSCE] human dimension has arisen in another participating state". It also stipulates that the rapporteurs report to the Permanent Council.
To date, the Moscow Mechanism has been invoked three times: 1) concerning alleged human rights violations and abuses committed with impunity in the Chechen Republic in 2018; 2) concerning the human rights situation and implementation of OSCE commitments in Belarus after the December 2010 presidential election; 3) concerning the persecution of political opponents in Turkmenistan in 2003.
Please find attached the statement delivered on behalf of the following delegations: Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, the UK, and the United States.