The key figures of the independent movement in Belarus, Hennadz Fiadynich and Ihar Komlik, have been officially charged with tax evasion in the so-called REP trade unions case. In this case more than 550 trade union activists all over country have been questioned, as REP has extensive structures in Belarus.
Hennadz Fiadynich nad Ihar Komlik have been charged with tax evasion, this is article 243.2 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus.
REP, an independent trade union, is a very important organization in independent circles in Belarus. It seems to have quite active structure throughout the country. The trade union has played its role in the struggle for human rights in Belarus. And so it was during last year's protests against the so-called decree number 3 imposing a special tax on the unemployed. At that time, tens of thousands of people came to the streets, demanding elections and democratic freedoms. People voiced their will openly in video live streamings, aired by independent media.
The REP trade unions are independent, unlike those that operate under control of the authorities. The labor market in Belarus is basing on short-term contracts. They are one of many instruments to exert pressure on Belarussian citizens.
The union's activists, Fiadynich and Komlik, were charged with "avoiding paying taxes at an extremely high rate".
It is worth noticing, that the same article was used during persecution of the famous defender of human rights, the chairman of Viasna Center - Ales Bialatski. He was found guilty of committing a crime under articel 243. 2 of the Criminal Code. He was sentenced to 4 years in prison and confiscation of his property.
Agnieszka Marcela Kamińska, PolskieRadio.pl