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July 10 Review of Appeal to Reduce Evgeny Vitishko’s Sentence



This court appearance represents the last legal possibility this year to free

the Environmental Watch on the North Caucasus activist of this fabricated guilt

On July 10th in the Kirsanov district court of Tambov region, lawyer Sergey Loktev will bring before the court a review of his appeal to reduce Evgeny Vitishko’s sentence. Vitishko, an environmental prisoner, has been imprisoned since Februrary 2014 for “defacing” a fence around the summer home of the former governor of Kransodar region and current Minister of Agriculture of Russia, Alexander Tkachev. This was confirmed by information published on the website of the Kirsanov district court.

Sergey Loktev filed the current appeal after the Kirsanov district court refused to hear an April 15, 2015 request for parole for Evgeny Vitishko. The appeal was filed on the basis of Article 80 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, according to which the court can replace the remaining part of an imprisoned person’s sentence with a less severe punishment after one third of the term has been served. Loktev will request that the portion remaining to be served in the colony be changed to a suspended sentence.

Andrey Rudomakha, coordinator of Environmental Watch on the North Caucasus, commented on the situation with the current court: “Judging by the way the Kirsanov district court and the Tambov regional court have reviewed the application for parole for Evgeny Vitishko, and the way the judges, representatives of the prosecutor’s office and the penal colony have behaved, the chances that this time the judge will change his position are slim. Unfortunately, the resolution of this question lies outside of the legal system. If Russia were a state with a functioning legal system, it would not be Evgeny who was in prison, but those who have illegally taken away his freedom. Evgeny’s freedom requires a political decision. As everyone in the prison system knows – from the top to the bottom – he is imprisoned as an act of revenge by Tkachev. The facts have repeatedly been borne out in the case of other political prisoners. The fact that this decision has not yet been made, even with the enormous resonance that Vitishko’s case has within civil society, including on the international level, is just absurd. The vengeful ambitions of the current Minister of Agriculture are ruining the reputation of our country and are keeping Vitishko in prison. The upcoming court case is the last legal opportunity to free Evgeny in the next six months. The next chance for his freedom will be only after December 25th, when he will have the right to appeal for parole.”

The legal case for Vitishko begins at 10AM on July 10th in Hall Number 7 of the Kirsanov district court. Environmental Watch on the North Caucasus calls on the media to provide extensive coverage of the case.

 For more information: (904)2191851, lawyer Sergey Loktev


July 8, 2015