11 July, 2022The heavy oppression against unions in Belarus continues. The government wants to declare the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions and all independent unions ‘extremist organizations’.
The trials of BKDP and its affiliates will continue in the Supreme Court this month:
12 July - Belarusian Independent Trade Union (BITU or BNP)
12 July - Union of Radio and Electronics Workers (REP)
14 July - Free Trade Union of Belarus (SPB)
18 July - Belarusian Congress of Democratic trade unions (BKDP)
No trial date is yet set for Free Trade Union of Metalworkers (SPM)
IndustriALL general secretary Atle Høie joins ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow in condemning the Belarusian authorities’ total disregard for due process and the basic rights of working people.
“IndustriALL will continue to call out the government’s relentless oppression of democratic unions. The global labour movement stands firmly with the workers and activists in Belarus fighting to exercise their fundamental workers’ rights,”
At least 15 BKDP leaders and activists have been arrested, with some already having stood trial and are in prison.
- Aliaksandr Yarashuk – BKDP chairperson, arrested on 19 April, in prison.
- Siarhei Antusevich – BKDP vice-chairperson, arrested on 19 April, in prison.
- Hennadz Fiadynich – REP vice-chairperson, arrested on 18t April, in prison.
- Vatslau Areshka – REP activist, arrested on 19 April, in prison.
- Mikhail Hromau - Member and secretary of SPM Council, arrested on 19 April, in prison.
- Iryna But-Husaim - BKDP media team officer and book-keeper, arrested on 19 April, held in prison at KGB pre-trial detention center.
- Miraslau Sabchuk – SPM activist, drafted an appeal by Minsk Tractor Plant (MTZ) in which workers condemned the violence and demanded new fair elections in 2020. Arrested on 19 April.
- Yanina Malash – SPM deputy chairperson and organizer, arrested on 19 April, in prison.
- Vitali Chychmarou – SPM council member and labour inspector. Fired in 2020 over trade union activities, arrested on 19 April.
- Vasil Berasneu - Acting REP chairperson, arrested on 19 April.
- Zinaida Mikhniuk – REP deputy chairperson, arrested on 25 March 25 charged with defamation of the president, prison for two years.
- Aliaksandr Mishuk – BITU vice-chairperson at JSC Belaruskali. Arrested on 25 May, in prison at KGB pre-trial detention center.
- Ihar Povarau – BITU activist at Belarusian Metallurgical Plant, BMZ, in prison for 3,5 years for an attempted warning strike in August 2020.
- Yauhen Hovar – BITU activist at Belarusian Metallurgical Plant, BMZ, in prison for 2,5 years for an attempted warning strike in August 2020.
- Artsiom Zhernak – SPM chairperson at Minsk automobile plant, arrested on 17 November, 2021, in prison at a pre-trial detention center.
The KGB has arrested the chairperson of the SPB primary organization at the Belarusian Research Center for Pediatric Oncology, Hematology and Immunology, Yulia Zharankova. Aliaksandr Mialeshka was detained the same day. He had previously been a member of the governing body of the same primary union. According to the union, several members from the health sector have been subjected to interrogation and are not allowed to disclose any details.