Towards the end of last year, the Steering Committee issued statements expressing concern about the situation of two members of the Civil Society Forum- Ecological Watch North Caucasus and ADC Memorial. Since these statements were issued, Yevgeny Vitishko, activist of the NGO Ecological Watch North Caucasus, was sentenced to 3 years in prison by a court in Krasnodar on 20th December 2013- the same day that Mikhail Khordorkovskiy was amnestied and came to Berlin.
We protest against this new case of repression against independent NGO-work and its activists on the eve of the Olympic Games in Sochi. For more information on this case, see www.ewnc.org and this report from Bellona:
"Vitishko and Suren Gazaryan were in 2012 found guilty by the same court of a "deliberate destruction of property" at a construction fence built on protected public land that was was shielding heavy illegal logging and the construction of a large summer home for Krasnodar Regional Governor Alexander Tkachen (…) Vitishko’s appeal will be heard later in the month" More ADC Memorial from St Petersburg announced that they have given up their legal status as a Private Charitable Foundation and will continue as an international human rights organisation (see their statement at: https://adcmemorial.org/www/8489.html?lang=en).