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Around 40 former BNP activists detained in union leader's case

December 1, law enforcers detained a total of about 40 people in Polatsk and Navapolatsk in the case of the former head of the primary trade union organization of the Belarusian Independent trade union (BNP) at Naftan, Volha Brytsikava, a source told "Pozirk".

Volha Brytsikava
Volha Brytsikava

According to this information, the investigation is aimed at finding evidence against Volha Brytsikava a, but the investigation has nothing concrete at the moment.

- On Friday, 40 people were taken away. About half of them, who have minor children, were later released. Most of the detainees were intimidated with criminal cases for union activity and financing protests, but for them the detention could end with dismissal without the possibility of employment afterwards. Mothers were scared that they would take their children to boarding schools, - the source said.

In August, Britikova and Aiaksandr Kukharonak, one of the leaders of the strike at the company in 2020, were detained as part of a criminal case. They are charged under Part 2 of Article 361 of the Criminal Code (calls to a foreign state, foreign or international organization to take actions aimed at harming the national security of Belarus, including the application of restrictive measures (sanctions)).

Aiaksandr Kukharonak
Aiaksandr Kukharonak

Volha Brytsikava had worked at Naftan for 16 years, at the time of the events of 2020 she was the head of the department of petroleum products sales. During the staff meeting on August 17, attended by the management of the Belneftekhim concern and KGB chairman Ivan Tertel, she voiced the demands of the plant workers to dismiss Aliaksandr Lukashenka and members of the Central Election Commission, release of detained protesters, cessation of violence by law enforcers and investigation of their actions, and holding fair and transparent elections.

Britikova was subsequently fired, and she was repeatedly arrested between 2020 and 2022. Last year she spent almost 100 days in captivity. The primary trade union organization, which she headed, was liquidated by the authorities, as well as all other independent associations of workers in Belarus.

Senior operator of the rectification unit with 14 years of experience Aiaksandr Kukharonak was one of the first employees of Naftan, who went on strike at the enterprise after the presidential elections in 2020. He was repeatedly arrested. He and his wife have three children.

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