Political prisoner Ihar Komlik released before trial
Ihar Komlik, accountant of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union of Radio Electronic Industry (REP) and chairman of the union’s Minsk city branch, has been released from pre-trial detention in jail No. 1 in Minsk after spending two month awaiting trial in a criminal case the country’s human rights community said was politically motivated.
Komlik has given a written undertaking not to leave the city and will remain under certain travel restrictions before trial.
The activist said shortly after his release that during his detention he refused to give testimony to the investigation.
Ihar Komlik was arrested on August 2 after the Department of Financial Investigation opened a criminal case against the activist and the trade union’s leader Henadz Fiadynich. Both faced charges under Part 2 of Art. 243 of the Criminal Code (large-scale tax evasion). If found guilty, the activists may be imprisoned for up to 7 years. Their property can also be confiscated.
According to official information, the investigators found that ‘the chairman and chief accountant of the trade union with the purpose of personal enrichment opened on behalf of the trade union accounts in foreign banks, and regularly received large amounts of money’.
On August 3, Belarusian human rights organizations issued a joint statement to declare Ihar Komlik a political prisoner, stressing the political motive of the criminal charges.