20 May 2018, Sunday, 20:43
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REP Demands To Close 'Trade Unions Case'

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The Council of the independent REP trade union demanded that the Lukashenka administration should stop the harassment of the organization.

The Council of the Belarusian independent REP trade union filed an appeal to the dictator's administration with a demand to stop interference into the work of the organization.

The website praca-by.info published the full text of the appeal:

"We, the members of the Council of the Belarusian REP Trade Union, demand to stop interference in the activities of the organization and pressure on members of the independent trade union.

The REP trade union is an organization that consistently and successfully defends legitimate rights and interests of employees. The REP trade union plays an important role in the democratization of the public life in Belarus and the building of a civil society based on the principles of respect for the individual and the protection of the rights and freedoms of citizens.

For more than half a year, the criminal case against the leaders of the REP trade union Henadz Fiadynich and Ihar Komlik has lasted. The Belarusian human rights community recognized the latter as a political prisoner. Ihar Komlik spent two months in prison and was released due to the intervention of the international community. Despite the release of the union activist from custody, the pressure on the independent trade union continues.

Until now, computers and other office equipment seized during the search on August 2 have not been returned to the REP trade union. The work of the office is complicated. Representatives of the trade union are not given a reasoned answer to the question of why the seized equipment cannot be returned.

Not only the personal property of the defendants in the criminal case and their relatives remains under arrest, but also the Minsk office of the REP trade union. The arrest of trade union property testifies that not just specific individuals are being prosecuted, but the organization as a whole.

There are unprecedented mass interrogations going on: over 250 members of the trade union have already been questioned throughout the country as witnesses in the criminal case, and interrogations are continuing. People are summoned by lists; all are asked the same questions that relate not to the criminal case, but to the internal activities and daily routine of the trade union. Some of the interrogated people under pressure and fear of persecution are forced to refuse membership in the REP union, which directly violates the freedom of association guaranteed by the Constitution and international agreements of Belarus.

All these actions are unequivocally interpreted as interference in the internal affairs of the trade union, which grossly violates the ILO core conventions, international obligations of Belarus in the field of protecting human rights and freedoms, as well as national legislation, and have a negative impact on the image of Belarus.

We demand to stop interference in the activities of the organization and pressure on members of the independent trade union; to stop mass interrogations and close the criminal case. "

On behalf of the Council of the Belarusian Trade Union REP,

Chairman H.F. Fiadynich