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Global unions call for release of the union leader in Belarus

10 August, 2017IndustriALL Global Union and International Confederation of Trade Unions (ITUC), addressed a joint letter to the President of Belarus expressing deep concern and indignation over the recent searches in the offices of independent unions as well as the detention of a trade union leader.

In their letter to the Belarusian president, global unions said the work of trade union organizations in the country was in jeopardy after authorities have raided many trade union offices and seized the hard drives of computers along with personal property of union leaders. Futhermore, the chief accountant of the REP union, Ihar Komlik, has been arrested.

ITUC and IndustriALL said: “We have serious reasons to believe that these actions are aimed at undermining the activities of the independent trade union movement in Belarus in retaliation for the active civil position of trade union leaders and the activities of independent trade unions to protect the social and economic interests of the working people of the Republic of Belarus.”

The global unions called these recent attacks on trade union leaders and their unions by the Belarusian authorities, an “interference in the internal affairs of the trade unions, which is a grave violation of ILO Convention No. 87 on Freedom of Association.”

The global unions are demanding the government "stop interference of state structures in the internal affairs of the REP and BNP unions and adopt urgent measures to ensure normal conditions for the work of trade union organizations in accordance with the obligations of the Republic of Belarus under ILO Convention No. 87.”

The ITUC and IndustriALL also made a strong protest and called for the "immediate release of Ihar Komlik, to stop criminal prosecution of Gennady Fedynich and Ihar Komlik, the leaders of the Belarusian trade union REP, and to remove all groundless accusations against them.”

In the letter, IndustriALL and ITUC reserved their right to inform the International Labour Organization, European Union and other competent international institutions of the on-going violations.