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"If we are supposed to become nails in the coffins of a tyrant, I'd like to be one of those nails. Just know that this particular one won't bend." - Oleg Sentsov

 

A Ukrainian Film Director, Oleg Sentsov, has been imprisoned by Russia authorities in 2014.

However, Oleg is continuing his struggle with the Putin regime, even from outside the Polar Circle.

On May 14th 2018 he announced a term-less hunger strike.

He demands the release all Ukrainian citizens illegally being held in Russian prisons. More than 70 persons and 24 sailors that were captured in International waters of the Black Sea.

International Reaction:

More than 60 members of the Russian PEN center and several major Russian filmmakers expressed their support, including Nikita MikhalkovAndrey Zvyagintsev and Alexander Sokurov.

The European Union and the United States condemned Sentsov's detention and called for his release.

The European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini stated that "the EU considers the case to be in breach of international law and elementary standards of justice."

Western governments, Amnesty International, and European Film Academy deputy chairman Mike Downey described the proceedings as a show trial.

The United States called the sentencing a "miscarriage of justice", stating that "Mr. Sentsov and Mr. Kolchenko were targeted by authorities because of their opposition to Russia’s attempted annexation of Crimea." Saying that Sentsov and Kolchenko were "taken hostage on Ukrainian territory", it called upon the Russian Federation to "implement the commitments it made in signing the Minsk agreements by immediately releasing Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr KolchenkoNadia Savchenko, and all other remaining hostages".

The German government's special envoy for human rights and humanitarian affairs said in a statement that he was "shaken" by the severity of the sentences and urged Russia to comply with Council of Europe norms for the humane treatment of prisoners.

European directors Agnieszka HollandKen LoachMike Leigh, and Pedro Almodóvar co-signed a 10 June 2014 letter by the European Film Academy to Russian authorities, demanding that the charges against Sentsov be dropped and the allegations of torture investigated. Iranian film director Mohsen Makhmalbaf dedicated his acceptance of the 2015 Robert Bresson Prize of the Venice Film Festival to Sentsov, calling the conviction a "major injustice" and the sentence "a move to intimidate all Russian society, especially the intellectuals and artists".

The European Parliament supported a resolution on the immediate release of Oleg Sentsov and other Ukrainian political prisoners.[49] Before the vote, all major political groups in the European Parliament, when discussing the human rights situation in Russia, called for the release of Oleg Sentsov and 158 other political prisoners held in the country. The participants of the debate stressed the need to continue the sanctions pressure on the Kremlin, and European leaders and diplomats urged not to attend the World Cup, which opens June 14 in Russia.

The Sejm of Poland adopted a resolution on 15 June 2018 demanding the release of Ukrainians imprisoned in Russia for political reasons. In the resolution deputies demand, in particular, to release Oleg Sentsov, Olexandr Kolchenko, and Roman Sushchenko.[51]

Sentsov was granted the title of honorary citizen of Paris on 24 September 2018. Sentsov was awarded the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize on 25 October 2018, in a move described by The Guardian as an EU rebuke to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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