Today, January 5, Minsk City Court passed a sentence on the leaders of the trade union of radio-electronic industry workers (REP) Hennadz Fiadynich, Vasil Berasneu and Vatslau Areshka, who were previously recognized as political prisoners.
Judge Elena Popkova found the trade union activists guilty and sentenced them to cumulative punishment:
Hennadz Fiadynich - 9 years of reinforced regime imprisonment;
Vasil Berasneu - 9 years of medium security imprisonment;
Vatslau Areshka - 8 years in the general regime.
All were accused of calling for restrictive measures aimed at harming the national security of the Republic of Belarus (part 3 of article 361 of the Criminal Code), the incitement of other social hatred (part 3 of article 130), creation of an extremist formation or participation in it (part 1 and part 3 of article 361 of the Criminal Code).
The human rights community of Belarus recognized the representatives of independent trade unions, detained in 2022, as political prisoners. Aliaksandr Yarashuk, chairman of the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions, was recognized as a political prisoner; Siarhei Antusevich, deputy chairman of the BKDP; Aliaksandr Mishuk, deputy chairman of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union, chairman of the primary organization BNP at Belaruskali; Andrei Khanevich, chairman of the primary organization of the BNP at Grodno Azot; Fiadynich Hennadz, founder of the trade union of the radioelectronic industry; trade union activists Areshka Vatslau, Mikhail Hromau, Iryna But-Husaim, Miraslau Sabchuk, Yanina Malash, Vitali Chychmarou and VasilBerasneu.
"The imprisonment of the above persons took place against the background of a large-scale campaign of persecution of independent trade unions and trade union leaders in recent times and is of a systemic nature," the human rights activists said in a statement, calling for the immediate release of all political prisoners and an end to political repression.