Policy: Environment & Energy

Sochi environmental activists sent to prison for 3 years

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Associated Press,Olympics,Russia,Energy and Environment,Sochi

SOCHI, Russia — An environmental activist in Sochi has been sent to jail for three years for spray-painting a fence.

A court in the regional capital of Krasnodar on Wednesday ruled to convert the suspended sentence given to Yevgeny Vitishko in 2012 into a prison term, said his group, Environmental Watch on the North Caucasus.

Vitishko is one of the environmentalists who shed the light on the environmental impact of Olympic construction in Sochi.

Vitishko and another activist, Suren Gazaryan, were found guilty in 2012 of "deliberate destruction of property" for spray-painting the fence of what they said was a local governor's property in a national forest where construction is forbidden. Both received a suspended sentence.

Penitentiary officials last year petitioned the court to convert Vitishko's suspended sentence into a prison term.

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