An open letter calling for the release of Oleg Sentsov was signed by the Minister of Culture of France, the directors Jean-Luc Godard and David Cronenberg, as well as over 100 cultural figures. In May, Oleg Sentsov went on a hunger strike
More than 120 cultural figures signed a letter calling for the release of Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov, who is serving a prison sentence in Russia on charges of terrorist activities. The letter was published in the French newspaper Le Mond.
The authors of the letter asked the EU and the UN to put pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin over the situation with Sentsov.
"The director dies because he is a dissident. He is threatened because of his ideas, as well as Vasily Grossman, Solzhenitsyn and many others were threatened under the communist regime, "the letter said. "If we do not act, we will leave Oleg Sentsov to die. This would be a departure from our values and principles, "the signatories add.
The letter also emphasizes that "it is urgent to find not only a humanitarian but also a political solution to this situation." "The entire international community, from the European Union to the United Nations, should be mobilized for Oleg Sentsov and get an answer," the document says.
Among those who put their signature under the appeal are French Minister of Culture Françoise Nissen, French directors Jean-Luc Godard, Bertrand Tavernier, Constantine Gavras and Regis Varnier, British director Ken Loach, American Frederick Wiseman, Canadian David Cronenberg and others. In total, 120 cultural figures supported the letter.
Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov was convicted in 2015 for 20 years in a strict regime colony on charges of organizing two terrorist attacks in the Crimea, preparing for another one, as well as creating a terrorist community. Later, the Supreme Court of Russia recognized the verdict as lawful.
May 14, 2018 Sentsov went on a hunger strike, demanding that all Ukrainian citizens who are there "for political reasons" leave Russian prisons.
On August 8, Sentsova's sister Natalia Kaplan reported that Oleg Sentsov was in a "catastrophically bad" condition. "Oleg handed me a letter through the lawyer, he almost does not get up. I wrote that the end is near and it's not about liberation, "Kaplan said. "To increase pressure on Russia" for the release of the director called upon in his Twitter spokesman for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Mariana Betza.
The press service of the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) denied Sentsov's deterioration. "To date, there is no shortage of body weight and deterioration of health status," the FSIN noted. They also added that the director in writing refused the proposed hospitalization, there was no indication to it.
In July, Sentsov's mother asked Putin to pardon her son, Peskov confirmed that the Kremlin had received her letter. The request to pardon Sentsov was previously addressed by the directors Andrei Zvyagintsev, Vladimir Pozner, Alexei Uchitel and other cultural figures.
At the same time, Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary of the Russian president, said that public outcry can not affect the court decision that came into force. "You know that there is a procedure for pardoning that is initiated by the convict himself. From this it is necessary to proceed, "- then stressed the head of the press service of the Kremlin. Sam Sentzov will not ask Putin for pardon, his lawyer said earlier.