- Eva Mercacheva: a person’s biography of a dangerous profession
- Beginning of work
- Work in the PMC. Why there?
- Mandate of the PMC
- Work is inseparable from personal life
- Mercacheva on decriminalization
- Innate sense of justice
- Journalist about torture in a detention center
- Mercacheva on the restriction of pretrial arrest
- Mercacheva Eva: nationality
This article is about the bright journalist of the newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets, deputy chairman of the public monitoring commission Eva Merkacheva. She is known to many readers for materials covering the situation in Russian prisons and pre-trial detention centers. The materials published by her are always motivated by humanistic principles. They contribute to the formation of a civil society.
Eva is a member of the Union of Journalists of Moscow and Russia, is the winner of the national journalistic award "Iskra". She also participates in commissions to develop laws that make life easier for prisoners while serving their sentences.
Eva Mercacheva: a person’s biography of a dangerous profession
In open sources it is impossible to find detailed information about it. And this is understandable. This fragile, but courageous woman is engaged in a difficult anti-corruption work in the field of justice and punishment. Her articles and materials are always targeted, they clearly show citizenship. Often, following a journalistic duty, she covers facts that are very disadvantageous to influential politicians. In view of the above, Eva Mercacheva does not advertise private information about herself and her family.
However, as a public person, she periodically talks about her views on life, without becoming attached to dates and persons. So, from the interview it is known that at school Eva was fond of physics, mathematics, participated in competitions. An excellent pupil, in graduation classes she decided to become either a journalist or an investigator.
She liked the very spirit of the investigation. Therefore, after school she entered immediately in 2 universities: Moscow State University (journalism) and the Institute of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Voronezh. However, the desire to work in Moscow still won, and the girl went into journalism.
It is also known from open sources that Eva Merkacheva is married, her son is brought up in the family, and she enjoys playing the guitar.
Judging by the rather pure performance of asanas (in one of the online commercials), she practices yoga from childhood, supporting her energy and performance.
Here, perhaps, all that you can learn personally about her on the Internet.
Beginning of work
After graduating from Moscow State University, Eva took up journalism, and only then the profession pushed her to human rights activities in prisons.
The girl at the beginning of her career as a journalist was interested in the bright and top topic of investigating the most resonant crimes in the past 10-15 years. But then Eva Mercacheva, possessing a systemic mindset, became interested in the social aspect of prison life, the riots that took place at that time in the colonies. Studying the materials of the investigations, the girl understood that, for the most part, the prisoners were revolting because of the non-observance of their completely legitimate rights.
At this stage, the doors of the penitentiary system were still closed for the journalist. However, Mercacheva did not despair, professionalism demanded from her - it is necessary to reach a new level. As a result, in her own words, Eva managed to “get through” to the public observation commission.
Work in the PMC. Why there?
The activist consciously chose for herself the field of activity - the penitentiary system. Closed and secret in the USSR, it was supposed to open up for public control. In 1984, Russia, as a member of the UN, ratified the Convention Against Torture. Thirty years later, on July 21, 2014, the federal law “On the Fundamentals of Public Control in the Russian Federation” was adopted, determining the controlling status of the PMC.
The statutory mandate allowed members of this commission to freely enter any premises of any correctional institution at any time.
This had a positive effect on the rule of law in the penitentiary system. In a short time, human rights activists were able to stop the organization of so-called press houses in Moscow prisons, where they played psychological games with a person, humiliated them, processed them in various ways, called and put pressure on their loved ones, forcing them to pay for stopping the abuses.
The PMC helped, first of all, illegally isolated in the SIZO. According to Eva, mother of many children Svetlana Davydova (8 or 9 children) in Lefortovo prison was exposed, including from unfair judicial protection. POC found her a lawyer, making it clear that the woman’s crime is completely absent.
Mandate of the PMC
Due to the status of a member of the PMC, Mercacheva got the opportunity to engage in human rights activities directly in places of forced detention of citizens: pre-trial detention centers, colonies, prisons, a bullpen, temporary detention facilities, special detention centers. At the same time, Eva was surprised to notice that, unlike her colleagues, she did not have a feeling of moral depression after visiting places of detention.
She, trying to help the prisoners in their understandable legitimate human requests, felt like a ray of light, trying to bring the prisoners hope and faith in the best.
Work is inseparable from personal life
Eva Mercacheva does not share her life and work at all. She succeeds in organically combining journalistic work in the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper with activities in the PMC. The employee of "Moskovsky Komsomol" does not have a stable hourly work schedule, she can write at any time. A woman and her colleagues quickly go to the SIZO, the prison, whether day or night, if something happens there.
She, as a human rights activist, is respected by prisoners. Those know that the journalist will miss the frivolous, far-fetched requests, but will show principle in violation of their real rights.
In her work, Eva Mercacheva works closely with her ONK colleague, journalist, columnist for the New Times magazine, and human rights activist, Zoya Feliksovna Svetova, who is widely known from the documentary “Recognize an Innocent Guilty”.
Mercacheva on decriminalization
An important innovation in the legal practice of Merkachev calls the new decriminalizing law, translating some articles of the Criminal Code (in the case of single actions of the accused) into the category of administrative violations. People who have broken the law are given the opportunity to stay within the framework of a normal civil life, not to get a criminal record. Thanks to the law, about 300, 000 people will receive such a chance annually.
However, his journalist calls only the first step in a long way to the decriminalization of society. She considers important in the near future a systematic revision of the article of the existing Criminal Code.
The following requirements of the law were also positive:
- obliging employees of the penitentiary system to video record the use of special equipment;
- prohibiting the use of stun guns against prisoners, as well as water jets at low temperatures.
Innate sense of justice
The human rights activist helps fellow citizens to realize the need to reform the existing penitentiary system. When an innocent person is placed in prison, he finds himself in a very special environment, where psychological changes are possible under pressure. The investigation affects him to admit his guilt. He is being pushed for this fatal mistake. If he takes the blame for himself, an uncompromising mechanism for the use of criminal punishment is launched against him. In this case, by and large, the whole society suffers: the criminals are unpunished, the person himself and his relatives lose faith in justice, the destinies of people are crumbling, the whole system of rule of law is deformed.
Eva Mercacheva is an operative journalist, she is keenly and urgently responding to cases when lawyers criticize innocent people by posting their reviews on social networks.
This was the case with the 65-year-old hunter from Tuva, Yuri Nikitin, who was poached by a ministry officer and a former police officer while half-dead in the performance of his official duties and left to die. Professionals of the country's hunting management know this decent person and high professional with 40 years of experience. It is noteworthy that shortly after the incident that occurred on the night of February 15, 2014, the images of the hackneyed mysteriously disappeared. At trial, the villains accused the huntsman of slander, and the judge imposed a considerable fine on him.
Journalist about torture in a detention center
Merkacheva Eva Mikhailovna considers her work extremely important for society. Prior to the publication of its materials, many Muscovites did not know anything about the Moscow detention facility-6, where law enforcement officers too zealously put women suspected of committing crimes.
The journalist opened the eyes of millions of fellow citizens to the arbitrariness of the place in the detention facility. Overcrowding is 80%, there is no free space in the cells. Women sleep on thin mattresses anywhere. The prisoners are practically not treated there. Many suffer from the simplest, but neglected gynecological diseases, bleeding. They fear that they will later become fruitless.
The human rights activist complains that the laws in force do not contain the very principles of humanism, even in relation to mothers. In her words, there are frequent situations when the mother is detained, and the children are given to relatives. No information is provided to the requests of suspects about the status of minors: “We do not provide such services.” It happens that in a pre-trial detention center women give birth, and children are taken away from them. And in this case, they also feel the information blockade.
Sometimes they are specially placed in the chamber of persons suffering from various diseases. Situations where suspects can get tuberculosis or syphilis, break women. Out of fear for their lives, they agree to sign everything to break out of this hell. According to European legal norms, this practice amounts to torture.
According to the journalist, irreversible consequences occur later, when such conditions break women in the second term of punishment, make them aggressive, masculine, tattooed, smoking monsters talking in a hair dryer.
It is terrible that the prison deprived of humanism and justice does not re-educate, does not intimidate the criminals, it deprives them of their femininity, destroys their lives, injures their lives.
Mercacheva on the restriction of pretrial arrest
The journalist considers the indiscriminate practice of pre-trial detention in the SIZO of persons who have committed easy crimes, especially mothers. Cruel in nature is the deprivation of their ability to raise children before the sentence. In addition, the judge, determining the measure of restraint, is not obliged to choose the SIZO, even if the investigators petition for it.
Merkacheva Eva, having studied the statistics on this issue, was quite surprised: the majority of such inhuman decisions were made by female judges. Anti-humanity, replicated in society by a woman - what could be worse?
Mercacheva Eva: nationality
It’s bad when nationality in Russia is a reason to accuse a decent person of Jewish appearance. Even some readers of this article have probably seen frank libelous materials on Eva Merkacheva on sites.
Who is this fragile woman who bravely opposes violence and arbitrariness in places of detention? Obviously to those who are disadvantageous to such legality. We give two examples:
- After one of her investigations, Eva made public the material that served as the basis for dozens of documentary chronicles. The facts are impressive: one Moscow criminal banker, placed in a colony, “bought” the administration. In the evenings, the guards took him to restaurants, let him go home. Insolent criminal even went to the Cannes Film Festival.
- A young woman does not hesitate to write the truth, even if she contradicts someone's attitudes. A journalist, for example, may, in spite of propagandists who idealize the Stalin era, publish material about the massacre of the “gang of nuns” who served in the Uspensky convent (the city of Tula), calling on citizens to think about humanity and dictatorship.
It is obvious that Merkachev is more afraid of corrupt officials in uniform, cultivating prison chaos.
Fortunately, Mercacheva Eva Mikhailovna, a journalist, deputy chairman of the Moscow POC, is not alone in her opposition to prison injustice. Together with like-minded people, the journalist is trying to ensure that criminals and defendants are not subjected to violence in isolation.
It is necessary for public health. After all, after serving a sentence, prisoners return, find work, get married. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that they return from places of deprivation of liberty, not embittered, but abandoning crime.
According to the human rights activist, for this, conditions should be created in places of detention that prevent the suppression of a person when, under pressure or because of deceit, he assumes someone else's guilt.
Sprouts of publicity in the penitentiary system, which the journalist contributes to his work, are very important. They lay the hope that society will respond and justice in places of detention will triumph.