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«Olympic thaw»: Ecological Activist Evgeny Vitishko’s Suspended Sentence Is Changed to Real One by Tuapse City Court

Evgeny Vitishko became political prisoner of 2014 OlympicsThesis that in Russia on the eve of the 2014 Olympics came the so-called «Olympic thaw» in which Putin is trying to improve the country's shaky image is erroneous. This is evidenced by the Tuapse court's decision of December 20, according to which the ecological activist Evgeny Vitishko was sentenced to three years in a prison, says the coordinator of the Ecological Watch on North Caucasus Andrei Rudomakha.

Below we give an article of the head of EcoWatch Andrey Rudamakha dedicated to this event:

Evgeny Vitishko became political prisoner of 2014 Olympics


Judge Milinchuk sentenced the activist of the Ecological Watch on North Caucasus Evgeny Vitishko to three years in a penal colony

Just now, at 6:45 pm in Tuapse City Court was ended the trial of Evgeny Vitishko, a known civic activist, member of the board of the Ecological Watch on North Caucasus. Judge Igor Milinchuk pronounced sentence: to replace the suspended sentence to a real imprisonment in a penal colony for three years. Evgeny Vitishko has ten days to appeal against the verdict. He was not taken into custody in the courtroom.

The official initiator for putting Evgeny Vitishko in the penal colony was the department of Tuapse Executive Inspection UFSIN for the Krasnodar Territory, which sent the court a demand to replace Vitishko’s conditional sentence for the real one. The prosecution representative actively supported this demand.

Thus, Russia has a new political prisoner, whose only "crime" is his active social position. Vitishko got into prison for his environmental activities, which were aimed at preventing the illegal seizure of forestland and the foreshore for the Krasnodar Governor Tkachev’s villa. Judge Milinchuk today brought to its logical conclusion the criminal case of so-called "fence damage" around this villa. Earlier, in July 2012 Vitishko and another activist of Ecological Watch, Suren Ghazaryan, were given a three year suspended sentence.

The formal reason for the replacement of the suspended sentence on the real one was the so-called Vitishko’s "violations" of the sentence regime restrictions, which were imposed on him. These "violations" are ridiculous. So, Vitishko was charged by three trumped-up "violations". First was recorded when Vitishko within his election campaign went to Krymsk; he gave advance notice to the inspection. Second - when Vitishko appeared in the executive inspection not in that day that was specified in the schedule. And the third was when he went to Krasnodar. To collect the information for putting Vitishko in prison, authorities set him constant surveillance, his phones were tapped, and the whereabouts tracked by mobile phone billing.

The purpose of this whole operation against Evgeny Vitishko was to suppress his public environmental activities, primarily, to stop his activism in the control of environmental violations in preparation for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. The authorities fear the activity in this sphere of the Ecological Watch of the North Caucasus and its activists – the last public ecological organization that actively continues to discover these violations and to give them publicity. Because of this a campaign against EcoWatch was organized with a wide variety of inspections and its activists are under pressure and persecution. Today the campaign against Ecological Watch reached its apogee - its activists are simply imprisoned before the Olympics began.

Judge Milinchuk’s decision indicates that the thesis that Russia is experiencing the so-called "Olympic thaw" on the eve of the 2014 Olympics, in which Putin is trying to improve country’s shaky image due to its political repressions, is erroneous.

Andrey Rudomakha , Ecological Watch on North Caucasus

Translated Susanna Shazzo, natpress
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Опубликовал administrator, 10-01-2014, 15:38. Просмотров: 876
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