24 May 2018, Thursday, 14:49
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Leanid Sudalenka: REP Trade Union Wins All The Time

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The authorities are persecuting the trade union leaders precisely because of the victory over the Decree #3.

At least seven pickets are planned to be held by activists of the independent trade union REP in the Homel region in support of trade union leaders Henadz Fiadynich and Ihar Komlik, Homel Spring reports.

So, activist of the REP trade union Aliaksandr Navumenka has already applied to hold a mass event in Rechytsa on June 1 with the aim of "expressing a public protest demanding to suspend the criminal prosecution of the leaders of the independent trade union." Also, applications for similar pickets in Homel, Mazyr, Kalinkavichy, Svetlahorsk, Vetka and other cities of the region, will be filed today and in the next few days.

Legal inspector of the REP trade union in the Homel region Leanid Sudalenka stressed that the main purpose of applying for pickets is solidarity.

"The evidence that formed the basis of the criminal case was obtained by the investigation in 2011. Why didn’t the authorities present these proofs for seven years, there were no complaints, and as soon as the REP trade union opposed the Decree #3 "on parasitism" and overcame it - the government immediately decided to hit the trade union with this baton, with these proofs,” – Sudalenka said.

According to him, "even when Komlik and Fiadynich are deprived of liberty, the trade union will continue its work anyway, because people need it."

"Every day I am in the courts on trade-union matters. We are able to help people: we win victories in labor disputes courts; we help the crippled in the industry to achieve justice; and the sellers charged with huge shortages. There are many such examples. The trade union helps people, and that is why the authorities decided to close it,” - the legal inspector believes.

The investigation against Henadz Fiadynich, the chairman of the trade union of workers of the radio electronic industry (REP), and Ihar Komlik, head of the Minsk city organization of the trade union, has been completed, and final charges have been brought over the tax evasion on a particularly large scale (Part 2, Article 243 of the Criminal Code).

The article provides for punishment in the form of restriction of freedom for up to five years; or imprisonment from three to seven years with confiscation of property or without confiscation; and with deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or engage in certain activities or without deprivation. The defendants have a month to study the case materials, after which it will be submitted to the court.

On August 2, 2017, the employees of the Department of Financial Investigation of the State Control Committee conducted a search in the Minsk office of the REP trade union, as well as in the houses of Fiadynich and Komlik. In both cases, a criminal case was initiated under Part 2 of Art. 243 of the Criminal Code. HR defenders compare the case against the leadership of the REP with the case of Ales Bialiatski, the head of the Viasna human rights center, closed by the authorities in 2003, which was initiated in 2011. International trade union organizations spoke in support of the independent Belarusian trade union.