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Belarus is the only country on the European continent that still upholds and carries out the death penalty, and the only one that has not joined the Council of Europe. There is serious pressure on civil society and many human rights organisations had to either suspend their activities or move to exile. Belarus has not reformed its penitentiary system, inherited from Soviet times: there is no public oversight and no National Protection Mechanism. Following allegations that the 9 August 2020 presidential election was rigged, large peaceful demonstrations were met with extreme violence by security forces. There were countless testimonies of widespread and systematic ill-treatment and torture in detention. The OMCT and its Belarus partner, Viasna, are documenting cases for submission to UN human rights mechanisms.