The human rights situation in Belarus has deteriorated even further over the past two years. This is the conclusion of a report initiated by 38 (mainly Western) member states of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and discussed on Thursday at the OSCE Council in Vienna.

Stephan Löwenstein

Political correspondent based in Vienna.

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Tightening of criminal and administrative law and the constitution as well as the practice of repression violate numerous OSCE principles: On "political rights and the democratic process, freedom of assembly and association, the right to freedom of expression and access to information, the right to liberty and security, the right not to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the right to a fair trial and the right to effective remedies". There are at least 1,486 political prisoners.

Belarus is a member of the OSCE, as are Russia and all EU and NATO countries. Although it would have been obliged to cooperate, it has not allowed the rapporteur, the French international law expert Hervé Ascensio, to enter the country.