BNP chairman Maksim Poznyakov detained

    On September 17, in the afternoon, the chairman of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union (BNP) Maksim Poznyakov was arrested in Novopolotsk.

    According to the information provided by the rrepresentatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the trade union leader will be held in custody for 72 hours, until a court hearing. According to preliminary information, he is charged with an offense under Article 19.11 of Part 2 of the Administrative Code of the Republic of Belarus “Distribution, production, storage, transportation of information products containing calls for extremist activities or promoting such activities”. It is not yet clear what exactly is implied. Maksim Poznyakov will stay in custody at the Center for the Isolation of Offenders of the Novopolotsk City Department of Internal Affairs until a court hearing scheduled for Monday.

    A few days before his arrest, Maksim participated at the IndustriALL Global Union’s Third Congress with the speech concerning the situation with workers’ rights in our country and the violation of trade union rights. In addition, two weeks ago in Novopolotsk, his the trade union colleague Vadim Mikhailov was detained and convicted  for a sticker depicting the coat of arms “Pahonya”.

    At the moment, representatives of international trade union associations, where BNP is a party to, such as IndustriALL, IUF and ITF, have been informed of the arrest of the leader of the largest independent trade union in Belarus. Accordingly, the information will reach the International Labour Organization (ILO).