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Belarusian Miner Chains Himself Hundreds Of Meters Below Ground Demanding Lukashenka's Resignation

Belarusian miner Yury Korzun (file photo)
Belarusian miner Yury Korzun (file photo)

A Belarusian miner in the city of Salihorsk, 130 kilometers south of Minsk, chained himself for several hours to a piece of equipment in a mine more than 300 meters below the surface while demanding the resignation of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

Yury Korzun said in a letter on September 10 that the president was "illegally" holding his position and that Lukashenka should stop threatening striking workers and miners, release jailed members of the strike committee of the Belaruskali factory, stop abductions of ordinary people by unknown individuals and stop attacks against peaceful demonstrators across the country.

The strike committee was reported to have said that Korzun was forcibly removed after spending more than four hours in the mine before being taken to a local hospital, which he left after a medical examination.

Employees at many state enterprises have gone on strike in Belarus to support demonstrations against the results of an August 9 presidential election that they say was rigged.

Lukashenka, who has ruled the country since 1994, was declared the winner with just over 80 percent of the vote, while the opposition says its candidate won and that the figures were falsified.

Since the balloting, thousands of protesters, including factory workers who once formed the backbone of Lukashenka's support, have taken to the streets calling for the president's resignation and fresh elections.

Lukashenka has refused to meet with the opposition or agree to a new election.

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