02/03/2014 09:58 EST | Updated 04/05/2014 05:59 EDT

Yevgeny Vitishko, Environmental Activist In Sochi, Detained 15 Days For Swearing In Public


SOCHI, Russia - A Russian activist who has reported on the environmental fallout from construction for the 2014 Sochi Winter Games has been detained for 15 days for swearing in public.

Yevgeny Vitishko, who is serving a three-year suspended sentence for spray-painting a fence, had planned on travelling to Sochi to present an environmental report.

Vitishko's Sochi lawyer Alexander Popkov said his client was arrested as he was about to leave the town of Tuapse, 72 kilometres (45 miles ) northwest along the coast from Sochi, after formally filing for permission to travel to the Olympic host city. He faced court Monday and was found guilty of swearing at a bus stop, a hooliganism charge.

Rights groups have criticized Russian officials for harassing activists and journalists in the Sochi area.

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