Russia illegally and unjustly imprisons political prisoners impetuously, without regard to an actual law being broken, without regard to unethical and immoral nature, without regard to humanity.
This is yet another attempt to highlight Russia’s war on the rule of law.
Activists in a dozen countries joined on June 2 a global campaign in support of Ukrainian filmmaker and writer Oleg Sentsov, whom Russia imprisoned in Siberia for 20 years.
Sentsov announced a hunger strike on May 14 demanding the release of all Ukrainian political prisoners held by the Kremlin. On May 28, Russian Federal Penitentiary service announced that Sentsov agreed to receive support therapy — the special treatment which extends the time of survival of a person without food.
June 2 is 20th day when Sentsov remains on hunger strike.
On May 31, Oleksandr Kolchenko, another Ukrainian national sentenced by a Russian court in the same case as Sentsov, announced a hunger strike to support the filmmaker.
In Kyiv, several hundreds of activists gathered at the Maidan Nezalezhnosti Square, some of whom were wearing the striped uniform of the prisoners and chains, while others were holding the posters with portraits and names of the Ukrainian political prisoners jailed in Russia.
The rallies also happened on June 1-2 in several other Ukrainian cities as well as in Brussels, Paris, Ottawa, Sidney, Warsaw, Tel Aviv, Riga, Leipzig, Vienna and London.
The activists shared their group photos with demands “Free Sentsov.”
The small rallies in support of Sentsov occurred even in Russian Moscow and Kazan.
Later the day the rallies are also planned in Washington DC.
“Today we add our voice to the global call to #SaveOlegSentsov, victim of #Russia’s campaign to silence those speaking out against its occupation of #Crimea,” the United States mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe posted on its Twitter.
Sentsov, 41, was arrested in Russian-annexed Crimea in May 2014 and was sentenced at a sham trial for 20 years in prison on charges of plotting a terrorist attack, which he denies.
He is now being kept in solitary confinement in a prison in Labytnangi, in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous region in Russia’s far north.
According to Ukrainian Media Initiative for Human Rights, 71 Ukrainians are currently illegally kept in prisons of Russia and Russian-annexed Crimea.