In Belarus, yellow tags single out political prisoners

In Belarus, yellow tags single out political prisoners

KYIV, Ukraine — While visiting her son in a Belarusian prison, Natallia Makavetskaya saw deep scars on his wrists left by tight handcuffs. She also noticed the yellow tag sewn onto his clothes.

The tags mark those jailed for joining demonstrations against authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko and single them out for “particularly harsh prison conditions,” Makavetskaya told The Associated Press.

“They have decided that my son is prone to extremism and treated him accordingly,” she said in a telephone interview.

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Her son, Uladzislau Makavetsky, was convicted in December of threatening a police officer with a truncheon during a clash between protesters and police in his hometown of Vitebsk and was sentenced to two years in prison. He denied the charges, saying he was only trying to protect an elderly man who had been beaten by police and he just tossed away a truncheon dropped by one of the officers.

Makavetsky told his mother that authorities at prison colony No.

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