OSCE Takes 'Important Step" By Establishing Expert Mission To Belarus - US State Dept.

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 19th September, 2020) The United States believes Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) decision took an important step by launching an expert mission to probe alleged human rights violations and election fraud in Belarus, US Department of State spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement on Friday.

"On September 17, 17 participating States of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), including the United States, took the important step of invoking the OSCE's 'Moscow Mechanism' to establish an Expert Mission to look into credible reports of human rights abuses and violations, including election fraud, in Belarus," Ortagus said.

The spokesperson pointed out that the OSCE states decided to invoke the Moscow Mechanism in order to see a peaceful resolution to this crisis in Belarus complete with ensuring respect for the human rights as well as free and fair elections.

On August 9, incumbent leader Alexander Lukashenko won 80.1 percent of the vote and won the presidential elections in Belarus for the sixth time. The country's opposition has claimed that former presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya won the election.

The opposition organized protests across Belarus and in the first several days law enforcement dispersed them, including by using force. However, law enforcement has since stopped dispersing the rallies and using force. More than 6,700 people were detained in the first days of protests and three protesters died in the unrest.