A mass rally against a tax on unemployment is scheduled to take place March 15 in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, amid signs that authorities are losing patience for such public expressions of discontent.
Dozens of activists, journalists and politicians associated with the protest movement have been taken into custody in recent days, with some sentenced to administrative detention. The civil society organization Nash Dom (Our House) said the clampdown has been especially harsh on what it described as “socially active women,” as well as female journalists.
The upheaval is a response to a presidential decree, titled “On Prevention of Social Dependency.” Although on the books for over a year, authorities only recently tried to enforce the statute.
Authorities earlier announced that they would suspend the implementation of the decree until 2018, but that announcement has not appeared to slowed the protest movement’s momentum.
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