Belarus – human rights must be respected

by ganna
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Today, on 10 December, we celebrate International Human Rights Day, but even after four months of struggle for freedom and democracy, most Belarusians cannot fully enjoy this day.

No-one could predict, 70 years after the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), rigged presidential elections in Belarus would slip the country into a huge uncertainty.

Since August this year, human rights’ protection groups have noted more than 30,000 detentions, over 900 criminal cases opened against protesters, 373 arrests of journalists, 156 political prisoners and at least seven people killed in relation to the protests. In addition, there have been staggering 4,000 declarations of torture during and after detentions, and not a single of investigation ended against police involved in violations and brutality at the peaceful protests.

Workers’ rights have been seriously oppressed since the current regime came in power in 1994, but the scale of recent repressions bypass all previously reported cases. IndustriALL’s Belorussian affiliates report of hundreds of detentions, forced dismissals and other persecutions for their members.

Workers’ rights are an integral part of human rights, including the right to decent conditions of work, freedom of association, equality of rights and protection against discrimination. What is happening in Belarus is arbitrary and the impunity of the culprits undermine trust in the governmental institutions.

The international community is outraged with the current situation, and those responsible with all the violations are already facing with sanctions, particularly from the European Union. But more need to be done and a stronger pressure must be put on Belarusian authorities to do an immediate restoration for a democratic and transparent governance.

IndustriALL general secretary Valter Sanches says:

“IndustriALL Global Union fully supports Belarussian people and workers in their struggle for democracy, fundamental human rights and freedoms. Our solidarity actions will continue until workers’ and human rights are fully settled and respected in Belarus.”