Geneva, May 19, 2021.- UN High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet today announced the appointment of three high-level experts to the UN Human Rights Office’s Fact-Finding Mission on Belarus that will assist her in conducting a comprehensive examination of alleged human rights violations committed in Belarus since 1 May 2020, including the possible gender dimension of such violations.
The experts are Karinna Moskalenko (Russian Federation) who will serve as Chair, Susan Bazilli (Canada) and Marko Milanović (Serbia).
“The past year has seen the longstanding and chronic pattern of systemic violations in Belarus brought into sharp relief, intensifying in the context of the presidential election and beyond, with fundamental freedoms routinely denied,” said Bachelet. “The work of the fact-finding mission will play an important part in ensuring the accountability for the violations that have fuelled the crisis.”
In its resolution 46/20, adopted on 29 March 2021, the UN Human Rights Council condemned the ongoing grave violations of human rights in Belarus in connection with the 2020 presidential election. It requested the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to monitor and report on the situation of human rights in the country, and to collect, consolidate, preserve and analyse information and evidence with a view to contributing to accountability for perpetrators and justice for victims and, where possible, to identify those responsible.
The resolution requests the High Commissioner to present an interim oral update to the Human Rights Council at its forty-eighth session in September 2021, and a comprehensive written report at its forty-ninth session in March 2022.
Ms. Karinna Moskalenko (Russian Federation)
Karinna Moskalenko is a human rights lawyer who in 2001 became the first Russian lawyer to successfully plead a case at the European Court of Human Rights. Since 2017, she has been Director of Centre de la protection internationale in Strasbourg. From 1999 to 2007, she was a member of the Expert Council for the Plenipotentiary on Human Rights for the Russian Federation. Since 1999, she has been a member of Moscow Helsinki Group. She works as a legal expert for the Centre of Assistance to International Protection in Moscow, which she founded in 1994. The Centre has filed and won more than 500 hundreds cases before the European Court of Human Rights. Ms. Moskalenko is an honourable member of the International Commission of Jurists, where she was a Commissioner from 2003 to 2018.
Mr. Marko Milanović (Serbia)
Marko Milanović is Professor of Public International Law at the University of Nottingham School of Law and an Associate of the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the European Journal of International Law. He has held visiting professorships at Michigan Law School, Columbia Law School, Deakin Law School, the University of the Philippines College of Law, and the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. He has a strong record of publication in human rights law, public international law, international criminal law and international humanitarian law. His work has been cited, inter alia, by judges of the European Court of Human Rights, the UK Supreme Court, and the High Court of England and Wales.
Ms. Susan Bazilli (Canada)
Susan Bazilli, Director of International Women’s Rights Project (IWRP), is a lawyer, researcher, educator, and advocate who has worked globally on issues of women’s rights and human rights for the past 30 years. She is the author of numerous publications on women’s rights, including the ground-breaking text «Putting Women on the Agenda: Women, Law and the Constitution in Southern Africa». From 1998 to the present, Ms. Bazilli has been associated with the IWRP in Canada and at the international level. Her work has included women’s human rights training in the Balkans, the Baltic region and East Africa, as well as missions for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and various missions for the UN in South East Asia, Central Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.