Democratic Trade Unions Demand to Punish Police for Porgrom at Their Office
The Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions applied to the minister of interior Uladzimir Navumau with the demand to consider the facts of law violations, committed by the police officers on 9 March in the office of the trade union center, give a principal evaluation to them and punish the guilty.
The BCDTU considers the events that took place on 9 March as interference with the internal affairs of trade unions.
‘As you should know, the problem of violations of the rights of trade unions is a subject that is regularly considered by different international structures. Last year the country was deprived of the trade preferences by the EU because of it. That’s why we consider the incident not only as a violation of the laws and the Constitution, under the protection of which the offices of trade unions are, but also as an open provocation which can by no means favor the development of relations with the International Labor Organization and the return of the trade preferences to the country,’ is stated in the BCDTU address to minister Navumau.
Bear in mind that on 9 March, at about 1.30 p.m. 10 police officers got into the office of the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions. The door was locked, but the policemen told those who were inside to open it, threatening to break the door otherwise.
The police officers, dressed in usual police uniform, the uniform of the riot squad and in civvies, stated that they had received a signal from the dwellers of the house where the office was situated, that somebody was throwing papers and bottles out of the windows. They insistent that the 32 young activists of the Free Trade Union Belarusian (FTUB) and the Free Trade Union of Steelworkers (FTUSW) were to follow them to the police station.
The deputy chair of the BDCTU Mikalai Kanakh arrived to the office in the mids of it all. He stated to the police that they had grossly violated the law by having burst into the office of a trade union without a warrant issued by court or prosecutor. He also informed the officers that a scheduled trade union measure was taking place at the office and all present persons were members of the independent trade unions belonging to the BDCTU. Kanakh also proposed the police to check the documents of the present people right in the office, if it was necessary, but the policemen refused and drove the trade union activists away by police cars.
Mikalai Kanakh left the office and walked round the building. Of course, he has found no litter and bottles on the ground. The detainees were taken to Leninski district police department of Minsk and kept there for several hours. The police put down their passport data and released them after 4 p.m.