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French filmmakers declare hunger strike in support of Sentsov

Members of French society of cinematographers and intellectuals are holding action next to the Russian Embassy to France
15:05, 16 September 2018

rfi.fr

A single tent was set up in front of the Russian Embassy in 16th arrondissement. The members of the French society of cinematographers and intellectuals who have recently declared a "chained" hunger strike in the support of Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, decided to alternately spend the night in the tent, RFI reported.  

According to the message, the point of the action is that every of its participant spends 24 hours near the Russian Embassy to engage more attention to the issue of Oleg Sentsov.  

Related: Merkel talked with Putin about Sentsov, - Russian Foreign Minister

The action is indefinite, the organizers note that they are intended to sustain the ritual until after the release of Sentsov. All they are trying to tell: if the hunger strike of the Sentsov's supporters can last long, then the time of the Ukrainian filmmaker is getting closer and closer to the release. 

The first who stayed in the tent is Christophe Ruggia, a prominent art house director.  

'Nights here are too short - the police wakes you up all the time, made it fall asleep for four hours. The atmosphere here is very ascetic - two mattresses, two pillows, discharged laptop and water,' he claimed. 

As we reported earlier, Oleg Sentsov, the Ukrainian political prisoner, has been starving in Russia penal colony of Labytnangi for 100 days now. He announced a hunger strike in May 2014, demanding to release him and the rest of Ukrainian political prisoners illegally held by the Kremlin. Sentsov already survived three health crises; the medics warn that the fourth one, which might involve the breakdown of the body's internal organs, could begin anytime.

Related: Why we must speak out about Oleg Sentsov now

The native of Crimea, film director, and political activist, Sentsov was illegally detained in Crimea in 2014, then taken to Russia. They judged him and sentenced him to 20 years of imprisonment at a high-security penal colony. The prosecutors charged Sentsov with preparing terrorist acts in the occupied Crimea. Sentsov denies his guilt. Ukraine's government, common citizens and the international society - politicians, artists, public figures - urge the Kremlin to release him.

Sentsov's photos from Labytnangi penal colony were published on August 9. 

Related: Sentsov becomes nominee for Sakharov Prize

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