Belarusians from the regions are outraged by pressure on the REP trade union.
The REP trade union sent a letter to the General Prosecutor's Office demanding to return the equipment seized during the search and stop the mass interrogations of the trade union members. However, the prosecutor's office redirected the appeal to the Investigative Committee. On February 15, the REP trade union received a reply to its appeal, where the Investigative Committee explains why it has been keeping trade union computers for half a year and calls hundreds of people from across the country for interrogation, praca-by.info writes.
"The objects seized during the investigation of the criminal case are currently being examined for the relevance and availability of significant information on the case" – this is how the IC explains why it is impossible to return the working equipment to the trade union’s office.
The chairman of the independent trade union REP Henadz Fiadynich is sure that the answer of the Investigative Committee is just a runaround that only confirms the politicized nature of the criminal case:
– If the investigators need some information from computers and flash drives, then it has long been possible to download the information and return the equipment. I doubt that the experts of the Investigative Committee do not know how to copy and store information on a hard drive. I doubt that they carried out any examination at all. They have computers that were not at the office of the union at all – what they can be looking for on them for so long? What kind of secret encrypted information are they trying to find? The same goes for interrogations. The Investigative Committee claims that it is questioning people who "may have significant information on the criminal case." And they summon everyone in a row, even those who are not in the trade union already; and it happens that they summon those who are no longer alive! From Mahiliou they inform that they are going to interrogate another 500 people – frankly speaking, we do not even have so many members in the Mahiliou region. And what kind of a criminal case, what kind of a serious crime has occurred in Belarus if hundreds of people are summoned as witnesses? Has the Investigative Committee no other cases to investigate? After all, all the forces are engaged in the "Trade Union Case!"
Henadz Fiadynich said that mass interrogations outraged people:
– People from different regions, the trade union members who have already been interrogated, are eager to come to Minsk and block the Pershamaiskaya Street where the Investigative Committee is located. I'm trying to dissuade them from such a step, but the idea has already appeared in people's minds.