Former slaves returning home


As a result of a joint raid of Dagestan policemen and activists of Russian youth group Alternativa nine persons were released on January 25, 2012 at a brick plant not far from Makhachkala, Dagestan. Belsat TV crew in Moscow has met our nationals at the railway station.
For seven months four Belarusians and five other people were forced to work at the plant. According to the freed Belarusians, it is the very railway station where they were hired. As they had lost their previous jobs in Moscow, they trusted glittering promises, accepted the strangers’ offer and went to Dagestan… But the Belarusians met with a balk there: the employer refused to give any pay and forbade them to phone home. As one of the former slaves suggests, the manhunter who picked them up at the railway station might have been received money for each: once the employer mentioned: “As I bought you now you should work off!”
The workers were regularly beaten. As their documents were not taken away they did stand a chance of escaping but unfortunately they had no money enough to buy tickets. Living in very poor conditions, the captives had to sweat 12 hours a day in every kind of weather.
As no one has a labour agreement, it will not be easy to stand upon their rights. Thanks to Alternatyva, a part of money earned was paid to the workers. Nevertheless, according to volunteer Oleg Melnikov, three citizens of Russia stayed at the plant because they have no other place to go to.
The volunteers and Russian officials helped the Belarusians get to Moscow. Now the released people are expecting the Belarusian Embassy to assist them in returning home.
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