Authorities continue to attack the Belarusian Free Trade Union: the house of the head of the control and audit commission is searched

    On July 21, the house of the head of the control and audit commission of the Belarusian Free Trade Union (SPB) Viktor Stukov was searched. The search warrant was signed by the prosecutor S.A. Troshko. As a result of the search, Viktor’s mobile phone was confiscated; however, he himself was not detained.

    The search warrant indicated that Viktor Stukov was a suspect under Article 341 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus. The case was initiated on March 29, 2021 in relation to an unidentified person who on October 17, 2020, in the evening, wrote the words “Cops”, “Court” and “Cop” at a public transport stop in a village 10 kilometers away from Polotsk.

    On July 14, the Chairman of the Belarusian Free Trade Union Nikolai Sharakh was detained for three days on a similar charge in Polotsk.

    The absurdity of this charge, apparently, does not bother the Polotsk guardians of the law. They use case reserved in advance in order to create obstacles in the activities of persons and structures undesired for the authorities.

    Viktor Stukov and Nikolai Sharakh refer to these charges as ridiculous, evidence-free and far-fetched. They consider these criminal cases to be persecution for their trade union activities.

    The Council of the Belarusian Free Trade Union considers such actions of the authorities to be deliberate obstacles to the activities of the trade union.

    Just a month ago, a conference of the International Labor Organization expressed its demands with regard to the Belarusian authorities related to the elimination of violations of the ILO Convention No. 87 “On freedom of association and protection of the right to join trade unions” ratified by Belarus in 1956. However, the authorities have apparently decided to completely ignore these demands and to continue to persecute Free Trade Union activists.

    The ILO has been informed of the actions of the Belarusian authorities and it will give them an appropriate assessment.