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Trial of the Deputy Chairman of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union begins
Belarus

Trial of the Deputy Chairman of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union begins

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Solidaires (CM)

Today, 10 November, the trial of Alyaksandr Mishuk, vice-chairman of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union (BNP), began in the Minsk Regional Court. He is accused of calling for the seizure of power in Belarus.

In addition to his position as deputy chairman of the BNP, in 2021 Alexander was elected chairman of the largest organisation of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union - the Belaruskali trade union organisation. In 2022, it counted more than two thousand employees of the Soligorsk company.

During the demonstrations in August 2022, some trade union leaders and activists addressed the Belaruskali mine workers who were shocked by the violence of the security forces. It is likely that one of these speeches by Alexander Mishuk was the reason for his arrest.

He was arrested on 25 May 2022 at his workplace. Searches were conducted at his office and at the same time at his flat. He was held in the KGB detention centre in Minsk for two months. Two weeks before his arrest, Alexander buried his father, and during the four months of his arrest he was not allowed to see his wife. He is currently being held in Minsk's Remand Prison No. 1.

Based on media footage, he was charged and prosecuted for organising a strike on 17-18 August 2020 at one of Belaruskali's mining enterprises. Following his indictment, the case was reclassified under a different article - "calls for the overthrow of the constitutional order". On 8 June 2022, he was declared a political prisoner by human rights organisations.

10 November 2022

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The Minsk Regional Court has sentenced the Deputy Chairman of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union (BNP) Alexander Mishuk to 2.5 years' imprisonment under the article on actions against national security (part 1 of Article 361 of the Criminal Code).

According to human rights activists, the prosecutor accused Mishuk of talking to workers "in order to create a strike committee". The accused explained this by saying that "everyone was in the grip of emotions because of the mass violence of the security forces"

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