Oleh Sentsov Starts an Indefinite Hunger Strike
Ukrainian film director demands the release of all Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia
Photo from Ukrinform–UATV
Ukrainian film director, Oleh Sentsov, illegally convicted in Russia, has started an indefinite hunger strike.
Sentsov demands the Russian government to release all Ukrainians jailed in Russia and in annexed Crimea.
This was stated by his lawyer Dmytro Dinze, who visited Sentsov in the penal colony that he is serving 20 years in, Ukrinform reported. Sentsov told his lawyer that he had been preparing for this step for two months. Dinze warned his client about all the possible consequences, in particular, the irreversible consequences for health. However, Sentsov said that he was ready to die if his demands were not met.
The Ukrainian announced his decision in a note.
“I, Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian citizen who was illegally sentenced by a Russian court and is currently serving a sentence in the penal colony of Labytnangi town, am starting an indefinite hunger strike from May 14, 2018. The only condition for its termination is the release of all Ukrainian political prisoners who are jailed on the territory of the Russian Federation. Together and to the end. Glory to Ukraine,” Sentsov wrote in his statement.
Recently, Sentsov described in a letter to his sister that he slowly is losing his health in the penal colony.
Sentsov, along with Oleksandr Kolchenko, were arrested by Russian security services in Crimea in May 2014 on charges of alleged preparation of terrorist attacks on the Crimean peninsula.
Sentsov is widely recognized by international human rights organizations as a political prisoner. Ukraine is currently pursuing a lawsuit against Russia in the European Court of Human Rights on his behalf.
Kolchenko was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
More than sixty Ukrainians are currently jailed in Russia and in annexed Crimea.