+++188 WOMEN political prisoners in Belarus in custody + 542 WOMEN under partial house arrest+++ 4 MINORS in custody! +++in TOTAL: 1551 political prisoners in custody+++ per 14.04.24

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BWF submitted a „Request for Investigation“ to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, alleging that Lukashenko were complicit in crimes against humanity

On 19.05.21 the Belarus Women's Foundation undersigned and on 22.05.21 submitted a „Request for Investigation“ to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, alleging that Lukashenko were complicit in crimes against humanity.  In this request BWF provided to the ICC the relevant evidence of the crimes (video testimonies of victims and witnesses).


Even the Allied States during the period of the military tribunal against Nazi Germany defined murder, enslavement, deportation and other persecution for political reasons as "crimes against humanity". Later, the Rome Statute established the International Criminal Court and brought the following crimes against civilians under its jurisdiction:
a) Murder
d) Enforced disappearance of persons
b) Deportation
(c)  Unjust Imprisonment or other deprivation of physical liberty in violation of International Law;
e) Torture
d) Other acts that intentionally inflict severe suffering, serious bodily harm, or serious damage to mental or physical health.

1. Murder
Dozens of people disappeared after mass protests resulted from the arrest of popular opposition leaders who had been denied the right to register as candidates, and election fraud. One individual was found hanged and another took his own life during clashes with the police. Among the dead there is incontrovertible proof of the murder of the following Belarusian citizens - Alexander Taraikovsky, Alexander Vikhor, Artem Parukov, Gennady Shutov, Konstantin Shishmakov, Denis Kuznetsov and Roman Bondarenko. No criminal proceedings have been  instigated as a result of these deaths.

There is incontrovertible evidence that Alexander Lukashenko personally ordered the use of "the most severe measures" against civilians and thereby protected those who committed criminal acts orders. 

2. Enforced disappearance of people
In 1998, by order of Lukashenko, the former Minister of Internal Affairs,  Chairman of the Officers' union Yuri Zakharenko, Chairman of the Central Election Commission Viktor Gonchar, businessman Anatoly Krasovsky, and a  Russian television cameraman Dmitry Zavadsky were killed.
Lukashenko fully admitted his guilt, stating that he personally “gave the command to destroy these scoundrels”. This was in relation to the so-called "Death Squad" a group of law enforcement officers engaged in enforced disappearance without trial and the investigation of the heads of criminal agencies, and opposition figures.
In addition, it is worth noting the murder of opposition Belarusian journalist Pavel Sheremet on the territory of Ukraine by members of the Belarusian Special Services. There is a recording of a conversation involving former Head of the KGB Zaitsev, who may be summoned to court as a witness those who the murder of the the Belarusian journalist.
It should be noted that since 2014 Ukraine has accepted the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. This would permit the initiation of criminal proceedings in the International Court against Alexander Lukashenko. This is because the murder of the Belarusian opposition journalist was committed in 2016 on the territory of a state that recognises the jurisdiction of the ICC for crimes committed on its territory after February 20, 2014.

3. Deportation
After the rigged elections, Presidential Candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, her associate Olga Kovalkova, as well as members of Viktor Babariko's headquarters - Maria Kolesnikova, Ivan Kravtsov, Anton Rodnenkov,  were forcibly removed from the territory of the Republic of Belarus. Hundreds of thousands of Belarusians have been forced to leave the country due to fear of persecution by the regime.

4. Imprisonment or other unjustified deprivation of liberty
During the protests in Belarus, over 35 thousand people went through the criminal justice system which is the largest figure in Europe in the period since the Second World War.

5. Torture or other conduct that deliberately inflicts great suffering or serious bodily harm
Since 10th of August, 2020, security forces have been using torture and other forms of ill-treatment on a massive scale. Numerous facts of torture were recorded in a report by the OSCE and other international organisations.
More than 1,000 injured Belarusian citizens appealed to the Investigative Committee and the Prosecutor's Ofice to initiate criminal proceedings on the grounds of torture, abuse of power and official powers by employees of security forces and places of detention.
The Republic of Belarus has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. It is committed to protecting anyone from torture and to investigating torture and other ill-treatment promptly and impartially.

On the basis of these documents, the international community has repeatedly called for an immediate and effective investigation into allegations of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment against detainees and protesters, but they have been ignored by the Belarusian authorities.
Alexander Lukashenko, the General Prosecutor's Office, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs not only failed to investigate specific cases of torture but, but they also failed to issue any public statement condemning the use of all forms of torture.

The International Criminal Court is known to be the court of last resort when people have been denied justice in their own countries.

The Belarusian people have no recourse to justice through the Belarusian courts. We appeal to the International Criminal Court as the court of last resort, to commence the procedure for a criminal case to be opened against Alexander G. Lukashenko, Citizen of the Republic of Belarus, who has committed a number of crimes on the territories of the Republic of Belarus and Ukraine which has recognised the jurisdiction of the International Court. The authorities of the Republic of  Belarus, on whose territory a number of particularly grave crimes have been committed, are unwilling to investigate these crimes and are attempting to cover up all evidence of murder, torture, rape and other forms of inhuman treatment.
In addition, on 17th, 2021, Lukashenko signed the Law on State Protection and National Security, which completely deprives Belarusians of not only civil rights, but also the right to life. According to this law, security forces “are not responsible for any harm they cause during the use of force, weapons and special equipment." In other words, in Belarus, the murder of civilians by special services is now legally permitted.
For more than six months, the Belarusian Women's Foundation has been recording audio and video testimonies from women who have experienced beatings, torture and other forms of inhuman treatment. These testimonies of Belarusian women will serve as the legal basis for initiating an investigation by the International Criminal Court, as part of the process of charges being brought forward by the body of international justice itself.
This procedure was used to obtain an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his son Saif al-Islam, Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi, and former President of the Republic of  Côte d’Ivoire Laurent Gbakbo and his aide Charles Blé Goudé. All were charged with Crimes against Humanity.
The opening of a criminal case against A.G. Lukashenko, citizen of the Republic of Belarus, by the International Criminal Court will provide an objective and impartial consideration of the crimes he has committed. If he voluntarily surrenders to the court, Lukashenka will be able to avoid an emotionally-driven assessment of his actions by the Belarusian public, such as happened in the case of the former President of Romania Nicolai Ceaușescu and his wife Elena, and the former head of Iraq Sadaam Hussein. He will also be able to avoid extrajudicial reprisals, such as those which occurred against the Libyan leader Muanmarr Gaddafi.

Proceedings against Alexander Lukashenko under section “Crimes against Humanity” by the International Criminal Court, in that it only delivers custodial sentences, would be an act of humanity since in Belarus, crimes of this nature are a capital offence and carry the death penalty. 

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Women political prisoners in Belarus

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