October 20, 2014

"EcoWatch" members report improvement of Vitishko's relations with colony bosses

Evgeny Vitishko, a convicted ecologist from Krasnodar, has no claims to top managers of the colony-settlement, where he serves his term, said Dmitry Gutov and Elena Shmakova, members of the "Ecological Watch for Northern Caucasus" (EcoWatch), who have visited the ecologist.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Evgeny Vitishko was accused of damaging the fence around the territory known as "summer cottage" of Alexander Tkachov, the Governor of the Krasnodar Territory. On June 20, 2012, the ecologist was sentenced to three years of conditional imprisonment, but in December 2013 the above District Court replaced the conditional by real imprisonment and sent Vitishko to a settlement-colony in the Tambov Region, where he is serving his term. When Vitishko arrived to the settlement-colony he filed a complaint to Prosecutor's Office about massive violations of prisoners' rights.

Members of EcoWatch visited Evgeny on October 13-15 in the context of the earlier received information that the procedure had been launched in respect to Vitishko with the aim to transfer him from his colony-settlement to a tougher general-security colony for the rest of his term.

At the meeting, Evgeny Vitishko told his colleagues that he was "still in the same conditions."

However, in the opinion of Evgenia Chirikova, an ecologist and the leader of the movement "In Defence of Khimki Forest", the transfer procedure had been started, but the Greenpeace and Amnesty International intervened into the matter.

"Thus, the case acquired an international dimension and became known all over the world; and the colony bosses changed their mind, fearing the worldwide resonance. For Evgeny Vitishko to stay in his colony-settlement, we must continue attracting people's attention to his fate," Evgenia Chirikova told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

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