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Sochi Environmental Activist Jailed For Three Years

Russian environmental activist Yevgeny Vitishko (file photo)
Russian environmental activist Yevgeny Vitishko (file photo)
A well-known Russian environmental activist, known for his criticism of Olympic development in Sochi, has been sentenced to three years in jail for spray-painting a fence.

A court in the city of Krasnodar rejected an appeal filed by Yevgeny Vitishko, a member of the watchdog group Environmental Watch on the North Caucasus.

Vitishko has been a vocal critic of the damage caused by the massive construction undertaken ahead of the Winter Olympics.

Vitishko and a colleague, Suren Gazarian, were handed three-year suspended prison sentences in 2012 for defacing what the group said was an illegal fence surrounding the property of the Krasnodar regional governor.

In December, a court in Tuapse ruled that Vitishko should be sent to prison for violating his parole.

Amnesty International says it considers Vitishko a "prisoner of conscience."

Based on reporting by Rapsinews, AFP, and AP

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