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REP leader Fiadynich: There is flagrant and blatant interference in trade union’s internal affairs

2018 2018-01-23T16:09:40+0300 2018-01-23T16:12:47+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Chairman of the REP trade union Henadz Fiadynich. Photo: HRC "Viasna"

Chairman of the REP trade union Henadz Fiadynich. Photo: HRC "Viasna"

The Trade Union of Radio and Electronic Industry (REP) has issued a statement to condemn numerous interrogations of its activists recently conducted by the Investigative Committee.

“According to our estimates, more than 90 people have been questioned across Belarus,” the union’s leader Henadz Fiadynich said in a comment to the HRC “Viasna”. “We believe that this pressure primarily targets the organization’s members in order to discredit the work of the union and its leaders, and as a result to make the union slow down its activity for the protection of its activists.”

Fiadynich calls it an ‘unprecedented wave of harassment’ of trade union activists in Belarus, apparently linked to the criminal charges he and his associate Ihar Komlik faced in August 2017.

“There has been such a gross and blatant interference in the internal affairs of the union: three weeks ago the Investigative Committee asked to provide the complete lists of our members, from the very beginning up to the present time, with all their personal data: phone numbers, places of work and residence of people. Of course, we said that we could not meet such a request, because it is the union’s internal information and we have a number of reasons to withhold such information,” REP leader said.

However, such data, according to Henadz Fedynich, could be obtained from the computers that were seized during the searches on August 2.

“Does not the government understand that violations of human rights, trade union rights are not something that can be ignored today? International organizations will certainly react. And I believe that the criminal case against REP will not help increase the investments expected by the government and the projects that are vital to the economy of Belarus,” he said.

On August 2, financial police raided two offices of the REP trade union, as well as the apartments of the union’s chairman Henadz Fiadynich and chief accountant Ihar Komlik.

Later, both faced criminal charges under Part 2, Article 243 of the Criminal Code (large-scale tax evasion)

Ihar Komlik was in detention for two months, while Fiadynich is under travel restrictions.

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