Seventeen people have been detained in Belarus after hundreds of residents protested against the construction of a battery plant in the city of Brest.
Among those detained by Belarusian riot police were local activists and civilians, Belarus-based Polish broadcaster Belsat reported.
Since February 2018, Brest residents have collected more than 40,000 signatures against the building of what they view as a hazardous factory. However, the city council dismissed their petition and proceeded with construction.
“The plant is located in the place where it should not have been stationed,(…) in the centre of a densely populated city,” protesters told Belsat, adding that they have repeatedly appealed to the government and the city council which, instead of reacting to the petition, started to detain demonstrators.
The plant is being built by Chinese company and is commissioned by iPower and will manufacture full-cycle lead-acid batteries. Brest residents say they will continue to protest against the plant despite the arrests.