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Journalist Yauhen Merkis makes shoes in prison

15.11.2023 Source: Беларуская асацыяцыя журналістаў

Yauhen Merkis joined the workforce in prison. He can only correspond with his father and his right to monthly calls has been restricted, as per human rights activist Leanid Sudalenka, who shared this information about the journalist on his Facebook page.

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“Yauhen works in a shop that produces boots for convicts and police officers. He’s not experiencing any health problems and keeps in touch with his father. (His mother passed away and he’s a widower.) They discuss the possibility of him receiving a care package, which is allowed once every four months and is limited to 50 kilograms. Phone calls aren’t allowed yet. He’s doing well and living a typical life in his current situation. During his free time, he reads and watches TV. Recently, some historian visited the correctional facility to give a lecture.”

Yauhen Merkis is a journalist from Homel. He used to cooperate with the Belsat TV channel, broadcast the rallies against the tax on unemployment in 2017, and covered post-election protests of 2020. He was repeatedly arrested by the police, fined by the courts, and detained. Overall, Eugene was condemned to 50 days of administrative detention and $1,950 for his work as a journalist.

On 13 September 2022, he was taken into custody for involvement in extremist formations and the promotion of extremist activity. He is serving a four-year prison term, notes the human rights defender.

November 8 marked Yauhen’s second birthday celebration behind bars. To show support for the journalist, you can send letters or postcards to:

IK-17, 213004 Shklou, vul. 1-ya Zavadskaya, Merkis Yevgeny Aleksandrovich.

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