14 May 2014
Source: HRO.org (info)
The scandal surrounding his ‘vandalism of a fence’ swept the country a couple of years ago, and brought Vitishko three years in a penal colony. We recently paid him a visit and passed on about 400 letters of support. Vitishko was extremely happy to receive them, and even promised to reply! Show your support for the activist in the form of an encouraging letter - and we’ll take them to him ourselves.
Information on the activist from Memorial Human Rights Centre:
Evgeny Gennadievich Vitishko, born in the town of Slavyansk-na-Kubani, Krasnodar region, on 3 July 1973, is an ecologist and activist for the Russian United Democratic Party Yabloko. Together with Suren Gazaryan, another activist from the Environmental Watch on North Caucasus group, Vitishko was found guilty under Article 167, Section 2 of the Russian Criminal Code (‘Wilful destruction or damage of other people's property, involving the infliction of considerable damage and motivated by intentions of hooliganism’) for having damaged the fence surrounding a dacha belonging to Aleksandr Tkachev, governor of Krasnodar region. On 20 June 2012, he was given a suspended three-year jail term with a two-year probation period, but on 20 December 2013 the suspended sentence was overruled by a judge and replaced with three years in a penal colony. This new sentence came into legal force on 12 February 2014.
He is considered a political prisoner because his criminal prosecution was based on a crime he did not commit, with a violation of his right to fair trial, and the sentence was disproportionate in terms of the charges brought against him.
Translated by Catriona Gillham
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