On May 30, the Homel Regional Court announced its verdict for journalist, historian, and local history expert Yauhen Merkis who received 4 years of imprisonment in a enhanced regime colony. Judge Aliaksei Khlyshchankou found Merkis guilty under Part 1 and Part 2 of Article 361-4 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus ("Assistance to extremist activity"), as well as under Part 3 of Article 361-1 of the Criminal Code ("Participation in extremist formation").
Online workshop with Belarusian media professionals organized by the Center for Independent Journalism (CIJ) in partnership with the non-profit investigative journalism center Direkt36
Journalists are not criminals! An action was held in the center of Malmö in support of Belarusian colleagues
The initiative to this gathering was taken by the “Organization for exchange between BAJ and SJF (Swedish Union of Journalists)” and invited were Frilans Syd, organization for freelancers in southern Sweden, Swedish Pen as well as staff journalists.
This was reported by Andrei Stryzhak, head of the BYSOL Foundation, in his Telegram channel.
Raman Pratasevich, a former editor of an opposition Telegram channel who was handed a prison term earlier this month after the commercial flight he was on was forced to land in Minsk in 2021, told journalists on May 22 that he had received a pardon.
Over 100 Nobel Laureates join PEN International in support of Nobel Peace Prize winner Ales Bialiatski
21 May: PEN International, the literary and free expression organisation, has released a letter signed by 103 Nobel Laureates, expressing solidarity with writer, human rights defender, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and PEN member Ales Bialiatski, and condemning the Belarusian authorities’ brutal, relentless, and systematic crackdown on independent voices. Today marks the International Day of Solidarity with Prisoners of Conscience in Belarus. The solidarity action was featured in the Guardian.
Today, marking the Day of the Political Prisoner in Belarus, the undersigned organisations reiterate our condemnation of the Lukashenko regime's ruthless crackdown on civil society and independent media. We continue to stand in solidarity with courageous Belarusians who persist in their fight for freedom. The international community will keep demanding the unconditional release of all political prisoners.
MOST Media and its social media pages, as well as other projects and personal social media accounts of Hrodna journalist Ruslan Kulevich, have been declared “extremist formations” by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus.
When journalist Dzianis Ivashyn was arrested on March 12, 2021, his home was searched by KGB agents. As a result, several dozen books were confiscated. Today it became known that the court ordered the destruction of 25 titles.