Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry urge to pressure Russia free Sentsov, Balukh

Source : 112 Ukraine

Ukrainian political prisoner Volodymyr Balukh has been on a hunger strike 177 days, and Oleg Sentsov – 121 days
11:55, 11 September 2018

Open source

Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the world to increase pressure on Russia to release Ukrainian political prisoners Volodymyr Balukh and Oleg Sentsov. The Spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry Mariana Betsa wrote this on her Twitter page.

“Volodymyr Balukh has been on a hunger strike for 177 days and Oleg Sentsov – 121 days. We call on our partners to strengthen the pressure on Russian Federation for their release,” Betsa wrote.

On September 10, the Supreme Court of the occupied Crimea controlled by the Kremlin did not grant the appeal of Volodymyr Balukh’s lawyer Olga Dinze on his conditional release. It was noted that the activist participated in the session through a video conference from the remand prison.

Reportedly, as of September 5, Balukh is hungering for 171 days. He lost 30kg over the period of the hunger strike.

Related: Jury of Venice Film Festival calls Russia to release Sentsov

Kolchenko and Sentsov were detained by Russian intelligence services in Crimea in May 2014. They were accused of the organization of a terrorist act on the peninsula. The native of Crimea, film director and political activist, Sentsov was illegally detained in Crimea, 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.

Recently, Sentsov’s lawyer stated on the deterioration of his condition. He has a very low hemoglobin, which led to anemia, as well as a very low pulse. Oleg has a bad heart, he was asked twice to be taken to a hospital.  

As is known, Oleg Sentsov, the Ukrainian political prisoner, has been starving in Russia penal colony of Labytnangi for 121 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: Petition in support for Sentsov gains 100,000 signatures

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