Sentsov marks his fifth birthday behind bars

15:10, 13 July 2018

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.

Meanwhile, Lyudmyla Sentsova, the mother of Ukrainian political prisoner Oleg Sentsov turned to the Russian president Vladimir Putin with a plea, asking to pardon her son. ‘All mothers love their children, wishing them freedom and happiness. It's difficult for me to tell how much guilt is on him, though I know him as a peaceful citizen and the man who loves his job, the moviemaking. I'll just say he never killed anyone. He already spent four years in prison. His children are waiting for him, the younger son suffers from autism. They miss him. They will never be happy without their father. I ask you to show mercy and pardon Oleg Sentsov, stop wasting his life and these of his close people’, reads the letter.