Sochi Environmental Activist On Hunger Strike To Protest Jailing

A leading Russian activist jailed after criticizing the environmental impact of the Olympic Games in Sochi has gone on hunger strike.

The Environmental Watch on North Caucasus said on February 17 that Yevgeny Vitishko began his hunger strike on February 12, the day he was sentenced to three years in a penal colony for spray-painting a fence on a property in a forest where construction is banned.

Vitishko and his group have repeatedly raised concerns about the environmental impact of massive building projects in Sochi.

His verdict has been widely condemned by human rights groups as an attempt to silence a prominent critic of the Sochi Games.

Amnesty International has named Vitishko a "prisoner of conscience."

On February 17, activist David Khakim was detained for staging a one-man picket in Sochi against Vitishko's sentence.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP