The European Union is deeply concerned about the continued imprisonment of Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov in the Russian Federation. No one should be imprisoned for their political beliefs.
The European Union Delegation to the Council of Europe issues the following statement in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission to the Council of Europe.
The European Union is deeply concerned about the continued imprisonment of Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov in the Russian Federation. Last week marked the 100th day of his hunger strike to protest the incarceration of illegally detained Ukrainian citizens in Russia and the Crimean peninsula. His health conditions are reported to be rapidly deteriorating. Mr Sentsov was arrested in 2014 after expressing peaceful opposition to the illegal annexation of Crimea. He was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in a trial that fell well short of international standards. We strongly support the request from the Council of Europe Secretary General Jagland to the Russian authorities to urgently release Mr Sentsov.
Pending the release of Mr Sentsov, we expect Russia to allow the Ukrainian authorities, including the Ukrainian ombudsperson, access to him and to provide him with appropriate treatment in an institutionalised medical setting in line with the European Court of Human Rights interim measure of 25 July.
The EU expects international human rights standards on the illegally annexed Crimean peninsula to be upheld and all illegally detained Ukrainian citizens on the peninsula and in Russia to be released without delay, including also Volodymyr Balukh, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Pavlo Hryb and many others. No one should be imprisoned for their political beliefs.
The following countries Albania, Georgia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Republic of Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine align themselves with this statement.