The trial against the leaders of the Association of Trade Unions "Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions" (BKDP) will begin on December 20, 2022 in the Minsk City Court
It concerns the chairman of the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions - Aliaksandr Yarashuk, deputy chair - Siarhei Antusevich and the accountant of the trade union association - Iryna But-Husaim.
Depending on their role they are charged under two criminal articles: part 1 of article 342 (active participation in the actions that grossly violate public order) and part 3 of article 361 (call for restrictive measures and other actions harmful to the national security).
Judge Valiantsina Ziankevich will hear the case.
On 19 April 2022, the management and employees of the BKDP office were searched at their workplace and homes. Computer equipment was confiscated. Antusevich, But-Gusaim and Yarashuk were arrested. They were charged under article 342 of the Criminal Code (group actions that grossly violate public order). At the end of November it became known that political prisoner Aliaksandr Yarashuk was charged with calling of sanctions (article 361 of the Criminal Code). He faces from 4 to 12 years' imprisonment. At the same time the union leader openly opposed the introduction of sanctions against Belarus.
International trade union associations were shocked by the news of the arrests of the BKDP leaders and demanded the release of the Belarusian trade union leaders and an end to repression against trade unions.
General Secretary of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Guy Ryder expressed "deep concern at reports of the detention of union leaders" in Belarus. He called for an end to persecution of those peacefully exercising their right to freedom of association in the country. In November this year, the ILO decided to accept against Belarus paragraph 33 of its Constitution, which states:
"In the case of failure by any member of the organisation to implement the recommendations (if any) contained in the report of the Commission of Inquiry within the prescribed time limit or by order of the International Court of Justice, the Governing Body may recommend to the Conference such action as it considers appropriate to secure the implementation of those recommendations”.
By the end of next March, the ILO should have developed sanctions against the Lukashenko regime. They will be imposed if 2/3 of the membership votes in favour at the labour conference in June.