Several hundred protesters in the Belarusian city of Slonim rallied on March 19 in opposition to a tax that authoritarian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka says is needed to fight what he calls “social parasitism.” Slonim District Council head Aleh Tarhonski arrived to talk to protesters. The rally ended with the adoption of a joint statement urging the authorities to improve employment and private business conditions and to stop raising the age of retirement. The statement also called on Belarus’s state media to report impartially on economic and social conditions in the country. (RFE/RL’s Belarus Service)

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