Person of the Week: Evgeny Vitishko

posted 12 Oct 2015, 07:11 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 12 Oct 2015, 07:28 ]
On 6 October 2015, Evgeny Vitishko's lawyer said his client had been on hunger strike since 29 September in protest at a Tambov court's decision to reject his request for release on parole. Evgeny Vitishko was jailed after he raised concerns about the environmental consequences of the construction work for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Initially he was given a three-year suspended sentence in 2012 for spray-painting on a fence in a wooded area outside Sochi in protest at what he alleged was illegal construction. His sentence was changed to time in prison in December 2013 when a court ruled he had violated the terms of his suspended sentence. Amnesty International has recognized Evgeny Vitishko as a prisoner of conscience and says that Vitishko's trial, conviction and treatment of his appeal have all been suspect. Amnesty International urged the Russian authorities to immediately release Vitishko after he began an earlier hunger strike in April 2015. The Moscow-based human rights group Memorial Human Rights Centre considers Vitishko to be a political prisoner.

'Jailed Russian Environmental Activist On Hunger Strike,' RFE/RL, 6 October 2015
'Yevgeny Vitishko. PLEASE WRITE A LETTER TO YEVGENII OR SEND HIM A CARD,' Southend Amnesty International Group, 22 September 2015
'Russia: environmentalist could face further jail time because of "negligent attitude to weeding tomatoes",' Amnesty International UK, 14 April 2015

Photo: Wikipedia