Human rights defenders call on OSCE to react to dispersal of rallies
11:51, — Politics
Human rights activists have been observing the inactivity of international institutions in the OSCE region in what concerns reacting to mass protests.
In this regard the International Civic Initiative for OSCE calls to establish a special rapid response mechanism in the framework of the OSCE to react to such events, Lawtrend human rights organisation reports.
“The current situation in Ukraine with clashes in Kyiv's streets has gained attention of many of us. Unfortunately, the worst scenarios come true – international institutions, including the OSCE whose mandate supposes a reaction to such situations, remain almost inactive. It turned out there is neither special response mechanism nor a political will for the reaction.
For the last three years, the OSCE region has seen several violent dispersals of rallies, among them the dispersals accompanied with clashes between protesters and the police and mass arrests: April 2010, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; December 2010, Minsk, Belarus; December 2011, Zhanaozen, Kazakhstan; May 2011, Moscow, Russia; May-August 2013, Istanbul and other Turkish cities; finally, current protests in Kyiv, Ukraine.
The events resulted in many injured and even killed people. The issue of citizens' safety in the OSCE region in recent years relates both to military resistance and the mass use of force against protesters or clashes between protesters and the police,” the statement says.
Members of the International Civic Initiative for OSCE propose to set a special rapid response mechanism in the framework of the OSCE that could:
– gather groups of observers, including both members and representatives of international institutions and civil society experts;
– organise long-term observations of conflict or crisis situations;
– act as mediators in conflicts;
– perform other functions to reduce negative consequences and prevent violations of fundamental human rights and freedoms in such situations.
The mechanism should be able to be launched within 2 or 3 days and have a mandate for a quick start in case of a crisis.