Solidarity statement for dying political prisoner in Russian labor camp

Karapatan stands in solidarity with Ukrainian writer and director Oleg Sentsov, who was sentenced in Russia to 20 years of strict-regimen labor colony on trumped-up charges of terrorism. Today is the 94th day of his hunger-strike and his health condition has dramatically deteriorated, leaving him near death. 

Oleg Sentsov was arrested in May 2014, shortly after the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula by the Russian Federation in 2014. Sentsov was actively opposing the annexation of his homeland, which resulted in his illegal imprisonment.

On May 14th of this year, he declared a hunger-strike protesting the injustice of his own detention and demanding the release of all other Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia. He timed his protest with the lead-up to the World Cup in Russia as a means to attract maximum media attention. As the World Cup came to an end, however, Oleg continued to starve himself. 

Now, the whole world is nervously watching how Sentsov is dying slowly. A broad community of supporters from all over the world is mobilizing and singing petitions demanding his release, but Vladimir Putin’s relentless regime of violence and oppression is keeping him behind bars.  

Every day Oleg Sentsov’s death is drawing closer. Let’s not watch him die in prison. 

#OlegSentsov #FreeSentsov #SaveOlegSentsov