WORLD TRADE UNION MOVEMENT UURGES PRESIDENT LUKASHENKO TO RELEASE BKDP ACTIVISTS FROM PRISON WITHOUT ANY DELAY
The General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) Sharan Burrow and the General Secretary of European Confederation of Trade Unions (ETUC) John Monks addressed President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko with the demand to release from prison without any delay the activists of Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions (BKDP) sentenced to different terms of custody for their participation in protest actions in Minsk December 19, 2010.
INTERNATIONAL TRADE UNION CONFEDERATION
EUROPEAN TRADE UNION CONFEDERATION
Detention of members of the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions
Dear Mr. President,
We have been informed by our member organisation – the Belarusian Congress of
Democratic Trade Unions – that four of its members were arrested together with hundreds of
other citizens of Belarus, who were protesting over disputed presidential elections on Sunday
evening in Minsk. We denounce the violent attacks by the police and the special security
forces on demonstrators this Sunday.
Mikhail Kovalkov, President of Belorussian Free Trade Union(SPB), Alexei Kovtun, member
of the Belorussian Free Trade Union (SPB), Vladimir Sergeev, member of Free
Metalworkers’ Union (SPM) and Alexander Tysevich, member of Belarusian of Radio and
Electronics Workers’ Union (REP) were sentenced to detention in remand for different terms.
With overcrowded custodies the conditions of their detention are appalling. Furthermore, they
are prohibited to meet with their relatives and colleagues and even handing over of food to
them from outside is not allowed. It is difficult to believe that such inhuman treatment is
possible in a state that has claims to be a democratic and socially oriented, with high
ambitions of cooperation with the European Union.
Hereby we demand to immediately release the members of the BKDP and to remove any
administrative record for them. We also once more call on the Belarusian government to
respect fundamental human rights, including freedom of association and freedom of
As you will be very well aware, the international trade union movement is closely monitoring
the situation regarding the implementation of the ILO Commission of Inquiry
recommendations that, among others, refer to necessity to change the legislation on
collective activities and to ensure that freedom of assembly is fully respected in law and
practice. The recent events obviously demonstrated the opposite.
Dear Mr. President,
Once again, we request the release without any delay of Mikhail Kovalkov, Alexei Kovtun,
Alexander and Vladimir Sergeev. Please be informed that we will be sending copies of this
letter to Juan Somavia, ILO DG, and Baroness Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the
Union for Foreign Affairs and Security, requesting their intervention.
Sharan Burrow John Monks
General Secretary General Secretary
ITUC ETUC and PERC
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