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ILO says fears Belarus trade union rights denied

Written by: Staff
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GENEVA, Apr 1 (Reuters) The International Labour Organisation (ILO) said it feared trade union rights were being denied in Belarus, adding to pressure on the country after a contested presidential election.

In a statement issued after a meeting of its governing body, the United Nations agency said Belarussian authorities had ignored the ILO's previous calls for greater freedom for workers to form and join labour unions.

It said the former Soviet state appeared to be ''on a path to eliminating all remnants of an independent trade union in Belarus, apparently hoping that in this way there, in effect, would be no further sources of complaint.'' Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko's landslide re-election on March 19 was judged unfair by Western observers and triggered wide protests.

Washington, which has described Lukashenko as Europe's last dictator, has said the vote took place in a climate of fear.

REUTERS SK RN0428

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