Prison officers threaten to send Yevgeny Vitishko to punishment cell

posted 23 Apr 2014, 14:05 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 23 Apr 2014, 14:07 ]
17 April 2014

Source: (info)
On 16 April, members of the Environmental Watch on North Caucasus (EWNC) paid a visit to imprisoned environmental activist Yevgeny Vitishko in penal colony No 2 in the Sadovsky settlement, Tambov region.

The reason for the activists’ concern was Vitishko’s failure to call anybody from the colony for over a week, which led them to believe that he had been sent to a punishment cell: Vitishko had warned EWNC activists Viktor Chirikov and Dmitry Gutov that this may happen when they came to visit him on 7 April.

Vitishko told friends visiting him that prison officers regularly threaten to send him to a punishment cell without offering any explanation, but he believes that it could be related to his efforts to defend prisoners’ rights. According to EWNC, Vitishko helps prisoners to lodge appeals with the Court of Cassation and to direct them to the relevant authorities, and informs prison officers whenever the Criminal Procedural Code is violated with respect to prisoners in his colony.

Vitishko reported that his failure to make any telephone calls was due to an emergency in the colony (three prisoners escaped), which resulted in all prisoners, including Vitishko, being deprived of their lawful right to make telephone calls.

Translated by Catriona Gillham