Poland’s ex-president Lech Walęsa nominates Oleg Sentsov for Nobel Peace prize

Oleg Sentsov hungerstriking in Russian prison

The world-known Polish politician Lech Walęsa has nominated the Ukrainian film director for the Nobel Peace Prize in the run-up to the anniversary of the Solidarity trade union that paved the way for the peaceful changes in Poland and the liberation from totalitarianism in Eastern Europe.

Solidarity trade Union was established on August 31, 1980

“Sentsov participated in Euromaidan protests, he wanted Ukraine to join a democratic Europe. Then he peacefully resisted Russia’s annexation of his native Crimea,” the Polish radio station RMF24 quotes Walęsa.

In August 2015, a Russian court sentenced Oleg Sentsov to 20 years of imprisonment. He was found guilty of an ‘attempt to organize a ‘cell of Right Sector [Ukrainian right-wing organisation] in Crimea’. The trial was held in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, The case was considered by North Caucasus District Military Court. The film director did not admit his guilt.

The charge was based on the testimony of Alexey Chyrny and Gennady Afanasiev. In court Afanasiev withdrew evidence saying that he had been tortured in jail. It is impossible to swap Sentsov for any Russian prisoner in Ukraine, because after the annexation of Crimea Russia started considering the Ukrainian director a citizen of Russia.

The Ukrainian film director, who demands that the Russian authorities release all Ukrainians jailed in Russia and Crimea, went on hunger strike on May, 14. There are 64 Ukrainian prisoners in Russia and Crimea. The 42-year-old prisoner has lost about 30 kg for over 100 days of his hungerstriking, but he is still not going to ask president Vladimir Putin for pardon.

“It is my strong conviction that Oleg Sentsov is the embodiment of all the ideals I followed when I peacefully struggled for the future of the world,” Walęsa stressed.

According to him, Sentsov’s faith in democracy, his peaceful struggle, lack of hatred, his work for the brotherhood between nations and, as a result, sacrificing himself for the good of unfairly offended people should be recognised by the free world.

“For these reasons, I urge all the people of good will to contribute to the release of Oleg Sentsov. i nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize,” Poland’s former leader summed up.

According to the statute, Nobel Peace Prize holders have the right to nominate candidates for the award. Lech Walęsa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983 for his advocating for human rights.


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