Homiel-based reporter Yauhen Mеrkis was to be released today, but he will remain in custody for another 12 days.
The journalist who was brutally detained on September, 14 was found guilty of participating in an ‘unauthorised mass event’. He has already spent 15 days in prison.
However, the authorities claim Merkis has not yet served the jail term imposed on him on August, 9. At that time, the journalist was also sentenced to 15 days in arrest, but after a wave of protests in Homiel, he was freed after being imprisoned within three days.
Another Belsat TV contributor, Maryia Hryts, was detained on Saturday, when she was covering Women’s March in Minsk. On Monday, a fine of 540 Belarusian rubles was slapped on her, but was not released. It turned out that another protocol had been drawn upon her. Today, Zavodski district court of Minsk has sent it back for revision, and she has walked away. However, Maryia, who has a 18-month daughter, was being kept in the detention centre for two days, which is contrary to the Belarusian law.
On Tuesday, Alena Dounar, a member of the Belarusian Association of Journalists, has got a 15-day jail term and a fine of 1,350 rubles for allegedly taking part in an illegal rally and disobeying the police’s orders.
It should be noted that all the journalists mentioned above were present at the protest actions in order to perform their professional duties.