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OSCE Launches Probe Into Belarus Election Fraud, Rights Abuses

A Month Of Turmoil In Belarus -- What's Next?
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WATCH: A Month Of Turmoil In Belarus -- What's Next?

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has launched an investigation into alleged human rights abuses and election fraud in Belarus.

The expert commission assigned on September 17 to conduct the investigation is expected to deliver its findings within six to eight weeks.

Crisis In Belarus

Read our coverage as Belarusians continue to demand the resignation of Alyaksandr Lukashenka amid a brutal crackdown on protesters. The West refuses to recognize him as the country's legitimate leader after an August 9 election considered fraudulent.

The commission will look into numerous reports of human rights violations both before and after Belarus's August 9 presidential election, which gave long-standing President Alyaksandr Lukashenka a sixth straight term and prompted mass demonstrations against the outcome.

The United States and Canada will join 15 European countries on the commission.

In announcing the measure, the 17 OSCE members said in a statement that Belarus had failed to comply with the body's earlier offer to mediate between the government and the opposition.

"The response of the Belarusian authorities has been to systematically target those who would engage in dialogue and to continue...violent repression of peaceful protesters, including women and young people," the statement said.

With reporting by dpa and Reuters
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