Good news: Russian activist released

Alison Dilworth

08 January 2016

Environmental campaigner Evgeny Vitishko has been freed.

But his ordeal is not completely over.

Our colleagues at Friends of the Earth Russia have informed us that after more than 22 months in a penal colony, Evgeny was conditionally released in December 2015.

Although no longer detained, the possibility that he could return to prison will hang over him until February 2017, the end of his sentence.  His detention in February 2014 was in fact the result of a suspended sentence being turned into an actual prison sentence, apparently as a reaction to his ongoing activism.

Evgeny Vitishko is a member of the Environmental Watch on North Caucasus, a regional organization of Russian Social-Ecological Union/Friends of the Earth Russia. His sentence and detention apparently relate to his criticism of the environmental impacts of the Sochi Olympics.

Many thanks to all helped secure his release by taking part in previous actions. No further action is required.

Want to know more? Follow our work on human rights defenders and take action with us. Join our Solidarity and human rights defenders group.

Evgeny Vitishko