Belarus: Stop the persecution of the workers and the people!

Below we reproduce some of the complaints made by the Salidarnast Association, which is
made up of Belarusian labor leaders and activists exiled in Germany, about the persecution
carried out by the authoritarian regime of Alexander Lukashenko. Several of them come from
the Belarusian Independent Trade Union (BNP).

Arrests at Gazprom Transgaz Belarus

Law enforcement detained at least three employees of Gazprom Transgaz Belarus, whose
testimonies as “repentant” were published on the GUBOPiK Telegram channel. They were
forced to sign statements admitting their involvement in “supporting protest sentiments,”
possessing “protest symbols,” and rebroadcasting materials from “extremist” Telegram
channels. One of the detained workers was also forced to admit her participation in
unauthorized demonstrations in 2020, for which she had already been arrested.

Prisoners from all social and cultural backgrounds

The case of Dzmitry Shalak, drummer of the local group Paranoia Dolls, became public. The
musician was brought before the Navapolatsk courts with charges of articles numbers: 369 –
“Insults to a representative of the authorities” and 368 part 1 – “Insults to the President of the
Republic of Belarus.” Dzmitry had already been detained last summer for an administrative
offense, but has now been the victim of more serious charges.

A BMZ employee will be tried for “inciting social hatred”

Dzmitry Shcharbina, an employee of OJSC Belarusian Steel Works (BMZ), who was
promised to be released after his arrest, will be tried according to criminal law. On February
16 he was charged under article 130 of the Criminal Code “Incitement to racial, national,
religious or other enmity or discord.” The maximum penalty provided for in this article is up to
five years in prison. As previously reported by the media, Dmitry Shcharbina was detained in
October 2023 and later posted a video with his participation. An anonymous Telegram
channel linked to the KGB accused him of participating in protests at the plant in 2020. At
the time, they said the prosecution had been stopped. However, after his arrest, Dzmitry did
not appear for a long time, which raised doubts about his release.

Continuous repression and persecution

As Salidarnast denounces, the violation of workers’ rights is systematic; the police use
repressive methods of pressure to force “repentance”, as a sign of intimidation towards
people who do not share their ideas or actions. The latest arrests also reveal the serious
tendency to increase persecution and aggravate penalties for simple statements regarding
the authorities. The regime of dictator Alexander Lukashenko and the KGB continues to
attack the working class and the political opposition, whether they are leaders and/or
activists who have a different opinion. He does this to control the social situation in terms of
economic problems and the majority rejection of the aggression against Ukraine, carried out
by Putin and the Russian imperialist army with the support of Lukashenko. From the
International Socialist League (ISL) we will continue the campaign of systematic
denunciation of a government and a regime that survives based on electoral fraud,
repression and support of Putin, promoting solidarity with the persecuted and proposing “Out
with Lukashenko!” and “Freedom to all political prisoners!”