SPB Chairman Nikolai Sharakh released
On July 14, the house of the Chairman of the Belarusian Free Trade Union (SPB) Nikolai Sharakh was searched. The search was conducted within the framework of the criminal case initiated on March 29, 2021 pursuant to Art. 341 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus “Desecration of buildings and property damage”. Nikolay was brought to the Polotsk District Department of Internal Affairs and detained for 72 hours until the circumstances were clarified. Today, on July 17, Nikolai Sharakh was released.
It is reported that the basis for initiating a criminal case was the alleged fact that on October 17, 2020, Nikolai Arkadyevich Sharakh was writing at a public transport stop using red paint and thereby inflicted damage in the amount of 24.36 Belarusian rubles. On this basis and guided by Art. 208, Art. 210 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the prosecutor requested a search of the house.
The investigating authorities who carried out the search were informed by Nikolai that he is the Chairman of the Belarusian Free Trade Union.
It should be noted that the detention of the chairman of the trade union and the seizure of office equipment is a direct violation of the laws of the Republic of Belarus. Pursuant to Article 23 of the Law of the Republic of Belarus on Trade Unions, employers (their associations), state bodies, business entities, public associations and officials shall observe the rights of trade unions. For violating the rights of trade unions or impeding their lawful activities, the aforementioned bodies and individuals shall be liable in accordance with the legislative instruments of the Republic of Belarus. Employers (their associations), state bodies, business entities, public associations and officials shall not prevent trade union representatives from visiting organizations as part of which the members of these trade unions work, unless otherwise provided for by legislative instruments of the Republic of Belarus.
The Article itself and the damage in the amount of 24.36 rubles seem to be absolutely absurd and surreal. The International Labor Organization and the International Trade Union Confederation were timely informed of the incident.