The Foreign Ministry of Ukraine has claimed the threat to the lives of Ukrainian political prisoners Oleg Sentsov and Volodymyr Balukh. Mariana Betsa, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman reported this on Twitter.
'Sentsov and Balukh continue their hunger strikes. There is a threat to their lives. We demand from Russia to release them', she wrote.
As it is known, 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.
Ukrainian political prisoner Oleg Sentsov has announced a hunger strike on May 16. This way, he demands that all Ukrainians detained in Russia and annexed Crimea be released. Sentsov said he was ready to die if the requirements were not fulfilled.
As it was reported earlier, Volodymyr Balukh, the Ukrainian citizen illegally judged in the occupied Crimea claimed that he goes for a timeless hunger strike. Balukh protested against the verdict in his case, announced in January 2018. The jury sentenced him to three years and five months for the alleged storage of ammunition. As it is currently effective, the detainee now serves time in jail.
In December 2013, when the Euromaidan movement began in Ukraine, Balukh supported its activists and hoisted a Ukrainian flag over his house. It remained there – even after the so-called referendum in Crimea in spring 2014 when people were forced to vote for Crimea’s recognition as part of the Russian Federation. Balukh said he never recognized the peninsula as part of Russia.
Volodymyr Balukh was detained by the Russian FSB (federal security service) in his house in December 2016. The law enforcers said they found 90 cartridges and several TNT blocks on the house’s rooftop.After that, he was sentenced to three years and seven months of imprisonment.