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Russian Environmentalist Evgeny Vitishko Not Released from Prison Colony; His Life is in Danger

On November 21, 2015, Evgeny Vitishko was expected to be released from the prison colony where he is serving an unjust three year sentence. On November 10, 2015, the Kirsanov court in Tambov Oblast made the decision to change the remainder of his sentence to “restriction of freedom,” which would allow him to serve the rest of his time outside of the prison colony. To our great concern, Evgeny Vitishko is still imprisoned in the colony and his life is in danger.

On November 20, 2015, Vitishko learned that he would not be released from the colony because Tambov prosecutor’s office decided to file an appeal regarding the November 10 decision. In that appeal, the prosecutors want the court to mandate that Vitishko be restricted to staying in the town of Salvyansk-na-Kuban rather than in Tuapse, which Vitishko’s home, after his release from the colony.

Vitishko has been on a hunger strike since November 23 in response to the prosecutor’s decision. As his release is on hold, Vitishko’s health is under serious threat.

On December 3, 2015, the court was expected to hear Vitishko’s appeal on granting him parole. However, prosecutors petitioned the court to postpone the hearings until December 25, 2015, which the court upheld, thus leaving Vitishko in the colony.

The highest levels of the Russian government are involved in Vitishko’s case. On October 1, 2015, during a meeting of the Presidential Council on Civil Society and Human Rights, the President requested that the responsible Russian authorities examine Vitishko’s case. Following this, the court issued the decision to reduce Vitishko’s sentence.

On November 27, 2015, Russian Ombudswoman Ella Pamfilova took Vitishko’s case under special control after learning about the prosecutor’s appeal and Vitishko’s hunger strike.

Crude Accountability is deeply concerned about the current state of Vitishko’s health and calls on the Russian court to swiftly release him from the prison colony in accordance with the November 10 decision of the Kirsanov court.

Based on information from Environmental Watch on the North Caucasus


Contact: Yulia Genin
Phone: +1 (240) 883-2670