Belarus: Further Attacks on Unions and Journalists

In a further crackdown on trade unions this week, the authorities in Belarus have ransacked the offices of the REP radio and electronics union and targeted the BAJ journalists’ union.

Several officials and members of both unions have been detained. In a further development, two journalists, Katerina Bakhvalova and Daria Chultsova, have been imprisoned for two years for filming a protest.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said: “President Alexander Lukashenko is desperate to cling on to power, and these flagrant violations of fundamental rights, including the right to freedom of association, show that his desperation is growing.

“The ITUC demands that equipment confiscated from the two unions and from individuals be returned, everyone detained since the start of this wave of repression be released and that the ongoing oppression of working people and their unions cease.”

Earlier this year, three workers in Belarus were imprisoned for taking strike action, as anti-union activity was stepped up by the Lukashenko regime.