Thanks to the wide resonance, a lot of people have learned about the REP trade union.
Hennadz Fiadynich, the leader of the REP trade union, has told palitviazni.info what he is doing now and why the authorities did not reach the goal when they started the "trade union case".
"If they wanted to destroy our organization, the effect was the opposite, - Hennadz Fiadynich states. - Firstly, thanks to the wide resonance a lot of people, who had not even heard that there was such a union before, learned about it. Secondly, the number of union members has only increased since the passing of the sentence... "
We remind that the leaders of the REP trade union Hennadz Fiadynich and Ihar Komlik were found guilty under Part 2 of Article 243 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus (large-scale tax evasion).
On August 24, 2018, the Savetski District Court sentenced the trade union leaders to four years of restriction of freedom without sending them to the open-type institutions.
As for Ihar Komlik, the serving of sentence at the place of residence has been in force since December 19 last year, and as for Hennadz Fiadynich - since January 4 this year. Human rights activists called this case politically motivated.
"As you know, by court decision I am forbidden to hold senior positions for a period of 5 years, so now the duties of the REP trade union chairman are performed by Zinaida Mikhniuk, - Hennadz Fiadynich said. - I am currently working as a consultant, but, in fact, nothing has changed. The REP trade union is a team, only that I have no right to sign any documents".
According to Fiadynich, when the authorities wanted to destroy the organization, the effect was the opposite.
"Earlier, a lot of people didn't know about the REP trade union at all, but after the resonance, people started to come to us and join the organization, - the trade union leader said. - The wave was quite serious - during the quarter, at least 100 people joined the trade union".
Another figure in the "trade union case", Ihar Komlik, notes that there have been some difficulties in work since the verdict.
"For two years, the investigators have been unable to return the equipment they took away during the searches back in August 2017 - he is outraged. - In 2011, our computers were confiscated, and after they were returned, they were out of order. Apparently, they were broken on purpose. I do not rule out that the same fate has befallen this equipment, and that is why it has not been returned.