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Minsk Protesters Challenge Controversial Law On 'Parasites'

'Parasite' Tax Protest In Minsk
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WATCH: Demonstrators Protest The 'Parasite' Tax In Minsk (natural sound)

MINSK -- Some 2,000 demonstrators have gathered in downtown Minsk to protest a law on "parasitism," a Soviet-era offense still policed in Belarus that obliges nonworking people to pay a tax.

Opposition leaders Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu and Mikalay Statkevich are taking part in the approved gathering, which activists called the "march of indignant Belarusians."

Signs such as "The President Is The Major Parasite" and "No Taxes From Us To You!" were seen among demonstrators at Kastrychnik Square.

The crowd chanted slogans such as, "No to taxes!" "Down with Lukashenka!" "We are people, not cattle!" and, "We are not afraid!"

Statkevich then led a march toward the Tax Ministry to hand over a resolution to officials that included a demand to cancel the law on parasites and the holding of free and fair elections.

Police are present at the site observing the gathering.

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