Ukrainalainen elokuvaohjaaja Oleg Sentsov nälkälakossa lähes 3 kk. Terveys romahtanut! Vaadi vapauttamista. Vastaa VETOAN OLEG NIMESI (90snt).
Ukrainian film director, Oleg Sentsov started a hunger strike on 14 May, calling for the release of ‘all Ukrainian political prisoners’ who are currently being held by the Russian Federation. Oleg Sentsov is serving a 20-year prison sentence following an unfair trial on politically-motivated charges. Amnesty International is calling for his immediate release.
In a note passed through his lawyer, Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov declared on 16 May that he, ‘a Ukrainian
citizen unlawfully convicted by a Russian court and serving [his] sentence in a penal colony in Labytnangi,
declare[s] an indefinite hunger strike, as of 14 May 2018.’ He says he will end his strike only on the condition that
‘all Ukrainian political prisoners’ who are currently being held by the Russian Federation are released.
Since he began the strike, Oleg Sentsov has been transferred to a separate cell where his health is regularly being
monitored by prison medical staff. According to the lawyer, Oleg Sentsov’s health is stable and he has no
complaints at this point about the penal colony staff’s treatment towards him, or the prison conditions. On 31 May,
16 days into the hunger strike, Russian politician, Ksenia Sobchak had a video-call with Oleg Sentsov during which
she tried to convince him to end his hunger strike; he refused. Ksenia Sobchak described the film director as
looking ‘very bad; he [has] lost weight; his cheeks are funnelled; he looks pale, but is very confident in his decision.’
On 4 June, Oleg Sentsov’s lawyer reported that Oleg Sentsov has lost 8 kilograms since he went on hunger strike
and that prison doctors have warned him that if he continues the strike he would be at grave risk of kidney failure
and in that event subject to force feeding. On July, after two months on hunger strike, Sentsov had lost 15 kilograms. On 9 August, it was reported that his condition had started rapidly deteriorating.
The film director was sentenced on 25 August 2015 to 20 years imprisonment for allegedly setting up a branch of a
‘terrorist group’ and organizing ‘terrorist acts’ in April 2014. He maintains his innocence. He was convicted in a
military court in the Russian Federation, following a grossly unfair trial, on politically-motivated charges and his
conviction was based on “confessions” obtained under torture. Amnesty International is calling for his immediate
Please write immediately in Russian, English or your own language urging the authorities:
- To immediately release Oleg Sentsov;
- To ensure that any and all medical treatment provided to Oleg Sentsov is done in compliance with medical
ethics, including the principles of confidentially, autonomy and informed consent, and that no unwanted treatment
or force feeding is executed which may amount to torture and other ill-treatment;
- To fully respect and protect the right to freedom of expression.
Oleg Sentsov’s co-defendant, Aleksandr Kolchenko was also sentenced on 25 August 2015 by a military court in Russia,
following a grossly unfair trial, to 10 years in prison for “committing terrorist acts”. On 31 May, he went on hunger strike
demanding the release of fellow activist, Oleg Sentsov. Amnesty International continues to call on the authorities to take
immediate steps to review Aleksandr Kolchenko’s case, overturn his convictions under false or disproportionate terrorism-related charges and – based on the review – either ensure he is released or that he receives a fair trial before a civilian court, under appropriate charges.
Amnesty International has on numerous occasions raised concerns about the violation of the right to a fair trial in Russia. Torture and other ill-treatment are endemic in the Russian criminal justice system. Independent trial monitors report systematic violations of the right to a fair trial at criminal and administrative hearings. Our long-standing concerns are epitomized in the case of Aleksandr Eivazov, former Secretary of the October District Court in St Petersburg and also a whistle-blower; he was arrested on 22 August 2017, for purportedly “interfering in the work of the court”, on account of his refusal to sign and backdate records of a court hearing that someone else compiled. He had been a witness to numerous violations of court procedures, judicial ethics and workers’ rights in the court, and had sent complaints about all violations to the authorities and shared this information on social media. Aleksandr Eivazov’s complaints are not known to have been addressed. He remains in detention, despite his deteriorating health, and is a prisoner of conscience. For more information see FU UA 228/17.