Belarus authorities put continuous pressure on independent trade union

The pressure on independent trade unions is increasing. The Investigative Committee summons REP activists throughout the country for questioning over a criminal case against trade union leader Henadz Fedynich and accountant Ihar Komlik. But the union members are sure it’s revenge for helping citizens protect their rights.

About 150 activists of the REP have been summoned by the police.

The case against trade union leader Henadz Fedynich and accountant Ihar Komlik began in August. They were accused of evading taxes on a particularly large scale. Komlik spent two months in prison and went on a written undertaking not to leave the city. The trade union representatives said the case was fabricated and has to do with the activities of the organization.

The REP consistently defends the rights of the unemployed in Belarus.

The union has actively advocated the abolition of Decree No. 3. Hundreds of unemployed persons who received so-called “letters of happiness” turned to the union for help.

“There is already Decree No. 1, which will be in effect from 2019. Therefore, there is a planned sweep of registered structures so that they cannot protect people using their experience. There will be mass complaints in 2019, because there will be more unemployed people,” explains human rights activist Aleh Volchak.

Not so long ago the union had problems with access to its Internet page, which was hacked by the unknown. According to the human rights activist, this is a systematic sweeping of the Internet space.

The independent trade union is not going to surrender and has already sent an appeal to the General Prosecutor’s Office about gross interference in its affairs on the part of the Investigative Committee. Another hope for the REP is the reaction outside Belarus. The trade union sent the relevant appeal to the International Labor Organization and other associations.

Volha Zharnasek, Belsat, photo: Viktor Drachev / TASS / Forum

See also