In a Friday report, U.N. rights investigators accused Belarus of chronic violations, including the suppression of protestors and dissidents that may constitute crimes against humanity.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights document addressed the lead-up to the disputed presidential election on Aug. 9, 2020, and the crackdown on protesters and opponents that followed.
President Alexander Lukashenko, a Russian ally who won his sixth poll term, denied breaches and blamed foreign forces for supporting the protesters.
Friday’s request for a response from Belarus’ foreign ministry went unanswered.
The study stated that Belarus had perpetrated systematic, pervasive, and egregious human rights breaches.
“Such infractions may also be crimes against humanity,” it stated.
The investigation noted security forces’ “widespread unwarranted and excessive use of force,” torture, arbitrary arrests, and impunity.
“Appear to have been part of a campaign of violence and repression” against government critics, the study said.
“We regret that the government of Belarus has been hesitant to recognize the mandate, to actively engage with our assessment and to give access to the country,” U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights spokesman Elizabeth Throssell told reporters.
Lukashenko has controlled Belarus since 1994.
Once Lukashenko was named the 2020 presidential victor, the opposition and Western nations called it fraudulent. As a result, hundreds were imprisoned and assaulted during protests.