Prison conditions toughened for prisoner of conscience Evgeny Vitishko

posted 15 Oct 2014, 11:53 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 15 Oct 2014, 11:55 ]
9 October 2014

Source: (info
There has been no contact with Evgeny Vitishko for more than a week now at the open-regime penal colony No. 2 (KP-2) in Tambov region where he is serving his sentence.

Fears have now been confirmed that, on the initiative of the colony’s management, the process to transfer Vitishko to a general-regime penal colony has begun.

North Caucasus Environmental Watch reports that on 24 September 2014 in Krasnodar regional court the prosecutor’s petition to annul the ruling of Tuapse town court that would change Vitishko’s suspended sentence to a term of imprisonment in a penal colony was heard.

The court dismissed the prosecutor’s petition and Vitishko, who had been brought to a pre-trial detention centre in Tambov city to take part in the court hearing by video link, returned to the penal colony on 29 September.

The same day he phoned his friends and said that he was in a quarantine block. Since then there has been no contact with Evgeny.

To obtain some clarity about what is happening with Evgeny, today Dmitry Gutov, member of the board of North Caucasus Environmental Watch, asked the Public Oversight Commission of Tambov region to find out what is happening.

Members of the Public Oversight Commission contacted the Tambov department of the Federal Penitentiary Service and were told that official procedures had begun to tighten the conditions of detention of the political prisoner by transferring him from an open regime penal colony to a general-regime penal colony, and that his placement in a quarantine block was related precisely to this development.

Andrei Rudomakha, coordinator of the North Caucasus Environmental Watch, commented on what has happened as follows: “Everything, unfortunately, is going according to the very worst scenario. After the regional court issued its latest unjust decision in relation to Evgeny, and he was not released as the Krasnodar region prosecutor had demanded, there were immediate moves to tighten his conditions of detention.

“This is revenge by the penal colony’s management for his actions in defence of other prisoners. They want to deprive Evgeny of the ability to keep in touch with friends and human rights defenders. Most important, they want to remove him from the penal colony altogether. Not even his lawyers were told about the planned transfer to a general regime penal colony,” Rudomakha said.