Strike leader detained in Belarus as crackdown continues
On Monday, authorities in Belarus arrested a top opposition party leader who organized a strike at a major industrial plant. Many Belarusians claim that this was an attempt to stifle weeks of protests against the re-election of Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled over the country for 26 years. Opposition members claim that the election was rigged in favor of the incumbent, who has since been cracking down on those who speak out against him, arresting several high-profile members of the organization.
Lukashenko has repeatedly denied requests for a new election, as well as denied the European Union’s offers of mediation. Rather than using security forces to break up demonstrations violently, Lukashenko has repeatedly threatened to jail activists, seeking to end protests through this method. The activist most recently arrested, Anatoly Bokun, lead the strike committee at Belaruskali, which is a massive factory in Soligorsk.