Ukrainian film director goes on hunger strike in Russian prison

Oleg Sentsov, who is serving a 20-year sentence in a prison on the Yamal Peninsula, demands that the Russian authorities release all Ukrainians which have been jailed in Russia and Crimea.

Sentsov is ready to die if the demand is not met, he told his defense lawyer Dmitry Dinze. If the prisoner fails to quit hunger-striking, he may be sent for compulsory psychiatric examination and then force-fed, his cousin Natallya Kaplan said.

At the moment, there are 64 Ukrainian prisoners in Russia and Crimea.

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.

Amnesty International and Russian human rights center Memorial recognised Oleg Sentsov prisoner of conscience.

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