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Fighting the dissolution of the independent trade unions and demanding the release of all trade unionists in BELARUS

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Igor Sergeyenko

Head of the Administration of the President of the Republic of Belarus

Transmitted via Permanent Mission of the Republic of Belarus to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva by e-mail:

Mr. Roman Golovchenko
Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus

Embassy of Belarus in Italy

Dear Mr Igor Sergeyenko,
Dear Mr Roman Golovchenko,
I write to you on behalf of the Fim Cisl,

As representatives of the global labour movement, we are compelled once again to write to you to denounce the serious violations of human rights and trade union rights in Belarus, and to demand an immediate end to these violations.

The repression of independent trade unions in Belarus is politically motivated and constitutes an assault on democracy and its institutions. The arrest of trade union leaders for exercising their legitimate right to freedom of association constitutes a grave violation of their fundamental human rights.

Therefore, we demand the immediate release of all the trade unions leaders and trade union members, among others, who have been unlawfully detained and legally persecuted:

1. Aliaksandr Yarashuk – Chairperson of the Belarusian Congress of Democratic trade unions, BKDP.

2. Siarhei Antusevich – Vice-Chairperson of BKDP.
3. Hennadz Fiadynich – Vice-chairperson of the Radio and Electronic workers’ union, REP. 4. Vatslau Areshka – activist of REP.
5. Mikhail Hromau – Member and Secretary of SPM Council.
6. Iryna But-Husaim – BKDP media team officer, bookkeeper of BKDP.
7. Miraslau Sabchuk – Activist of SPM.
8. Yanina Malash – Deputy Chairperson of SPM, officer for organizing.
9. Vitali Chychmarou – Member of SPM Council, labour inspector.
10. Vasil Berasneu – Acting Chairperson of REP.
11. Zinaida Mikhniuk – Deputy chairperson of REP.
12. Aliaksandr Mishuk – Vice-Chairperson of BITU, Chairperson of BITU at JSC Belaruskali. 13. Ihar Povarau – activist of BITU at Belarusian Metallurgical Plant, BMZ.
14. Yauhen Hovar – activist of BITU at Belarusian Metallurgical Plant, BMZ.

15. Artsiom Zhernak – Chairperson of SPM at Minsk Automobile plant.

Moreover, we demand that the government of Belarus give access, as a matter of urgency, to visitors, including an ILO mission to the country, the ITUC and other global trade union organizations, to ascertain the conditions of arrest and detention and the welfare of the detained trade unionists. In addition, we demand that access be given to these organizations to observe the ongoing trials against trade unionists and trade union organizations.

Furthermore, Fim Cisl condemns in the strongest possible terms the Supreme Court decision to liquidate and dissolve the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions (BKDP), and its four members: the Belarusian Independent Trade Union (BITU or BNP), the Union of Radio and Electronics Workers (REP), the Free Trade Union of Belarus (SPB), and the Free Trade Union of Metalworkers (SPM).

The government of Belarus must change course and commit to global democratic standards.

Yours sincerely,