Demonstrations in support of Sentsov held in 78 cities worldwide
#SaveOlegSentsov demonstrations were held in Germany, Italy, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, France, Belgium, Israel, Canada, the United States, Great Britain, Kuwait and other countries.
"I wrote an appeal to hold demonstrations in support of Oleg [and] sent them to friends; they sent them to their own, and it quickly appeared that people from 30 countries around the world, from Canada to Australia, were ready to write a manifesto for the demonstration, translate it into different languages, make banners and video clips, [and] distribute information about the demonstration on social networks," said Olexandra Matviychuk, Head of the Board of the Center for Civil Liberties and one of the organizers of the demonstration.
Participants in the demonstrations called on Russia to release Oleg Sentsov and all political prisoners, and on the G7 countries to discuss the issue of their release at the next G7 summit, which will begin June 8 in Canada.
Volunteers also handed over a "Manifesto on the rescue of Oleg Sentsov" to the Canadian Foreign Minister, as well as to MPs in the Israeli and European Parliaments.
"Oleg Sentsov decided to take this desperate step in order to attract the attention of the international community to political persecution in Russia and the occupied Crimea. He put his own life at stake and is ready to go to the end. We do not have the right to allow his death," Matviychuk said.
Demonstrations in support of Sentsov were also held in Russia, including in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The police detained two participants in St. Petersburg, as well as one in Moscow, who took part in pickets in support of the film director. The demonstrator arrested in Moscow was film director and screenwriter Mikhail Mestetsky.
In 2015, the Russian court sentenced Sentsov to 20 years in a high-security prison on charges of preparing terrorist attacks in the Crimea and Simferopol. On May 14, 2018, the film director went on a hunger strike. He demands the release of Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia; he does not include himself in their number.