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Political prisoner marks birthday: Oleg Sentsov turns 42

The filmmaker holds on to his hunger strike in the high-security penal colony in Labytnangi, northern Russia
10:02, 13 July 2018

Open source

On July 13, Oleg Sentsov, the Ukrainian filmmaker and political prisoner celebrates his birthday. He turned 42.

As is known, the native of Crimea, film director and political activist, Sentsov has been serving time in the Russian penal colony in Labytnangi since May 2014. This spring, he announced a hunger strike, demanding to release all Ukrainian political prisoners, illegally held by the Kremlin. 

Oleg 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 enjoys the wide support of the many in Ukraine and abroad. Rallies, where participants urge to release him, are held worldwide - in Ukraine, Russia, the EU and the U.S.

Related: Ukrainian musician publishes letter from Sentsov

Earlier, Oleg Sentsov became the first laureate of the Ukrainian ID Award. The award is established by the International Economic and Humanitarian Forum 'Ukrainian ID'. According to the Facebook post by this organization, Sentsov gets the prize for his 'unbreakable willpower in the struggle for freedom'. The post says that the Forum planned to award Sentsov in absentia on July 7, when the awards ceremony is to take place in Kaniv, central Ukraine. But the current events demand urgent action, so as to speed up his release. 

Previously, Andriy Khlyvniuk, a singer of Ukrainian pop band BoomBox published a letter, which he received from Ukraine's political prisoner Oleg Sentsov. The musician posted the letter on Facebook.

'Today, I got the letter from Oleg Sentsov who is right now fighting for the truth, with his health, freedom, and life! I am proud to live in these times along with you, brother. I'll try and do everything within and beyond my grasp for you and the rest of our guys to be free. See you!', Khlyvniuk commented on the said post.

In his short message, Sentsov thanks the BoomBox singer for their music, which he listened to recently while staying in detention. He also wrote he got the postcard that Khlyvniuk had sent him.

Related: Jacques Audiard, other European filmmakers call to free Oleg Sentsov

Related: Karlovy Vary IFF prizewinner to transfer her award to Oleg Sentsov

Related: Concert in support of Oleg Sentsov takes place in Moscow

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