Address of the chairperson of Salidarnast on the anniversary of the detention of trade union leaders in Belarus
In our country, there is police terror, torture and persecution of those who disagree with the dictatorial regime of Lukashenka, including trade union activists. The campaign calls for the release of trade union and political prisoners, an end to the repression of trade union activists and the restoration of guarantees for the legal activity of independent trade unions.
The campaign is organized by the Solidarity Association, which provides support to trade union activists, and the start of the campaign is timed to coincide with the anniversary of the trade union pogroms perpetrated by the Lukashenka regime in 2022.
The campaign starts on April 19, 2023, and its goal is to draw the attention of the international community to the problems related to trade union rights in Belarus and contribute to their solution.
Dear brothers and sisters!
April 19, 2023 will be exactly one year since the mass arrests of the leaders of the Belarusian Independent Trade Unions. Arrests for dissent and expressing one’s position in our country have become a terrible routine.
The trigger for the Lukashenka regime to finally close the question of the existence of a democratic labor movement in the country was the demands of the BKDP leadership to stop the war and withdraw the Russian army from the territory of Belarus and Ukraine. All democratic trade unions were liquidated in Belarus, and now trade union activity outside the framework of the pro-government federation of trade unions is prohibited.
On this day, we would like to recall our brothers and sisters who were sentenced to different prison terms - from 1 to 9 years. More than 30 trade unionists were included by human rights activists in a long list of political prisoners in Belarus, which includes the names of 1,460 people. Over the past two years, the regime has liquidated more than 700 public organizations and initiatives. Convicted trade union activists are included in the lists of extremists and terrorists. Every day we hear about more and more arrests, torture, searches, fines in Belarus, where terror has become an integral part of life and mentally brought us back to the terrible past of Stalin’s repressions.
THIS MUST STOP! TRADE UNION ACTIVITY IS NOT EXTREMISM!
The past tells us: if you do not resist evil, this only allows it to become more bloodthirsty. We call on the working people of the world to join our campaign demanding the release of political prisoners and an end to terror in Belarus.
In order to help Belarusian political prisoners, trade union activists:
- Hold a protest action to draw attention to the problem of repressions in Belarus, actively participate in it.
- Contact the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in your country to demand the release of political prisoners.
- Disseminate information about the situation in Belarus with the demands of the campaign.
- Make a donation to the fund for helping trade union activists.
Any of your actions will help draw attention to the fate of prisoners and help trade union activists in Belarus.
We count on you to join us in this important mission. After all, solidarity is one of the most effective tools of the working people, which allows workers and trade unions to fight for their rights and interests. The unpunished destruction of trade unions and mass arrests of workers is a disgusting example of the disregard for fundamental human rights, and this should not go unnoticed. Therefore, actively join the solidarity campaign.