Belarusian police have detained more than 20 people at a potash mine for supporting a second worker who has refused to return to the surface in protest against the state company’s management and President Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s government.
“Now [the miners] are being dealt with. Maybe some will be released. It will take time to find out who participated in the action and who did not. It is also possible that not all the miners have been detained,” Serhiy Chabatarov, a spokesman for the Minsk regional police, told RFE/RL.
The protesters were supporting Aleh Kudzyolka, who handed a protest note to his labor union co-workers at the Belaruskali mine at the end of his shift on September 21 saying he would remain hundreds of meters underground until his demands were met.
According to the miners’ union, Kudzyolka’s demands include the resignation of the company’s director and the release of other miners who have been detained in recent weeks while joining the political protests that have roiled Belarus.