Due to recent court rulings on the imprisonment of trade union leaders in Belarus, IndustriALL Global Union and IndustriALL European Union sent letters to the European Commission, European Parliament, European Council and the ILO.
In them, they call for immediate action, including expressions of public support for the independent trade union movement in Belarus, and a call for the Belarusian authorities to demand the immediate and unconditional release of arrested trade union activists and an end to the repression against independent trade unions and individuals demanding their human rights.
IndustriALL Global Union and IndustriAll European Union reiterate the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations demand to "release all trade unionists who remain in detention and drop all charges related to participation in peaceful protests and strikes”.
IndustriALL General Secretary Atle Hoie said:
"Condemning union leaders for exercising their legitimate right to freedom of association is a gross violation of the principles of freedom of association. Trade union rights are meaningless in the absence of full respect for those civil liberties enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, particularly the right to liberty and security of person, freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention, freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of assembly, the right to a fair trial and the right to protection of trade union property”.
More than 30 Belarusian trade union leaders and activists of democratic trade unions are imprisoned or confined.
Some have already been sentenced to huge terms - 9 years of reinforced regime, like Hennadz Fiadynich and Vasil Berasneu. Others have already served prison terms, as activists of the Free Trade Union of Belarusians.
This is how the Lukashenko regime responded to the struggle of independent trade unions for democracy and human rights in Belarus. Since the rigged presidential election in August 2020, independent trade unions in Belarus have been under constant harsh attack, including searches of union offices and the homes of union members, confiscation of cell phones and laptops, pressure on independent union members to quit, firing of independent union members, and finally the liquidation of four independent trade unions and their federation in July 2022.