Fact Service August 2020

Issue 33

Confederations condemn Belarus violence

Three leading trade union confederations have condemned the treatment of trade unionists and others peacefully protesting against the recent presidential election in Belarus.

The TUC has said that it is “deeply concerned” about reports of violence, persecution and arrests, adding that: “Independent Trade Unions of Belarus, the largest democratic and independent civil society movement, have labelled the elections fraudulent, with main opposition candidates harassed and not allowed to compete, while dictator Alexander Lukashenko – in power since 1994 – was declared winner despite allegations that the majority of the population voted against him.”

The ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation) called for the elections to be re-run and for those arrested to be released. It pointed out that Belarus has been ranked for many years in its Global Rights Index as having no guarantee of rights, and that: “it is effectively impossible to hold a legal strike.”

The ETUC (European Trade Union Confederation) and PERC (Pan-European Regional Council) also joined to demand the immediate release of trade unionists and strongly condemn the conduct of the election.