EU demands Sentsov’s release and medical treatment

The EU is demanding that Russia “not only provide Oleh Sentsov with quick and appropriate medical treatment, but also immediately release him, together with the other Ukrainians being held illegally in Russia and Crimea”.

A statement to this effect was made by Maja Kocijančič, spokeswoman for the European External Action Service, on the department’s official website on October 7.

“Oleg Sentsov has shown incredible courage, determination and selflessness during his 145 days of hunger strike. His health has now deteriorated to a critical state,” the spokeswoman emphasizes.

“In refusing to provide him with appropriate medical treatment in an institutionalised medical setting, the authorities of the Russian Federation have violated his human rights as well as their own human rights commitments under international law, namely the European Court of Human Rights interim measure of 25 July this year,” the statement reads.

“Oleg Sentsov was jailed for alleged activities conducted on the Crimean Peninsula, the illegal annexation of which by the Russian Federation he strongly opposes. The EU considers the case to be in breach of international law and elementary standards of justice,” Kocijančič points out.

Sentsov’s attorney Dmitry Dinze said earlier that the political prisoner intends to end the hunger strike on October 6.

In a letter, Sentsov said that there are plans to subject him to “force-feeding” as a “life-saving” measure, regardless of his opinion on the matter.

The Russian Federal Penitentiary Service announced Sentsov’s intention to end his hunger strike on October 5, when his attorney visited him in prison. This information was later confirmed by Ukrainian Human Rights Commissioner Lyudmyla Denisova.

The ombudswoman urged Russia to keep Sentsov alive and provide him with specialist medical care.

Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov was arrested in May 2014. In August 2015, the North Caucasus District Court in Rostov-on-Don sentenced him to 20 years of high-security imprisonment for allegedly planning acts of terror in annexed Crimea.

Sentsov is being held in the White Bear prison in Russia’s Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug.

On May 14, 2018, Sentsov declared the start of his hunger strike, demanding the release of all Ukrainians being held illegally in Russia.

On September 10, it was reported that Sentsov had written a will concerning his creative works, in case he were to die in prison.

On September 28, the Russian penitentiary department announced that Sentsov had been taken to a civil hospital.

  Ukraine, Russia, Sentsov, EU, crimea