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Second Activist Jailed In Sochi Area

A Russian court in the Sochi region has sentenced an ecology activist to five days in jail for resisting police.

Igor Kharchenko of the group Environmental Watch on North Caucasus (EWNC) was put on trial behind closed doors in the city of Krasnodar on February 5.

An associate, Olga Soldatova, said Kharchenko had no lawyer nor any witnesses in the courtroom.

Another member of the EWNC, Yevgeny Vitishko, was jailed two days earlier for 15 days for swearing in public.

The group has been monitoring the environmental impact of Olympic construction in Sochi.

In a statement, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said harassment of local activists is more harmful to Russia's image than any criticism they could have voiced.

Amnesty International called Kharchenko's trial "blatantly unfair" and said it considers both Kharchenko and Vitishko "prisoners of conscience."

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and RFE/RL