Thousands rally in Belarus to protest unpopular labor law

AP News
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Posted: Mar 15, 2017 12:34 PM

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — Several thousand Belarusians are rallying to protest an unpopular labor law.

Wednesday's march in the capital Minsk and smaller rallies at several other Belarusian cities were the latest in a series of demonstrations against the law that obliges citizens to pay the equivalent of $250 if they work less than half the year and do not register with state labor exchanges.

Ealier this month, Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko suspended collection of the fee — an unprecedented step back for the authoritarian leader who has ruled the 10-million nation with an iron hand since 1994. Lukashenko's move has failed to end the protests, which include calls for his resignation.

The law has dealt a painful blow to Belarusians amid a two-year recession.