Russian journalist and human rights activist Zoya Svetova wrote a letter with an appeal to French President Emmanuel Macron asking for help in the release of Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov, who is a political prisoner in Russia. The letter was published by the French newspaper Liberation.
"I very much hope that you will be able to convince your Russian colleague to grant a pardon to Oleg Sentsov and other Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia, each of whom is a victim of "hunting Ukrainians," launched by Russian special services immediately after the annexation of Crimea," the letter says.
She also said in a letter that she "is very familiar with the practice of political persecution," because her grandfather in 1937 was the victim of Stalin's great reign of terror.
As it was reported earlier Ukrainian movie director Oleg Sentsov and Crimean activist Oleksandr Kolchenko were detained by the Russian FSB in the annexed Crimea. Both were taken to Russia. Sentsov was charged with preparing a terrorist act in Crimea and sentenced to 20 years in the high-security penal colony. Kolchenko was sentenced to ten-years-long imprisonment.
Oleg Senstov faced health issues while in detention in Russia. According to his lawyer Serhiy Dinze, Sentsov suffered from a bad nutrition regime, which resulted in weight loss and heart problems. On Wednesday, he was transferred to the White Bear penal colony; doctors requested his patient chart to assign the diet and treatment schedule.