Russia prohibits priest from visiting imprisoned filmmaker Sentsov
First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada and Ukraine's representative in the humanitarian subgroup of the Trilateral Contact Group on the Donbas issue, Iryna Herashchenko reported that a priest was not allowed to visit the convicted filmmaker Oleh Sentsov in Russia, who is on the 79th day of his hunger strike in prison. Herashchenko added that she "tried to give Oleh a letter."
“I have never received any reply to dozens of my letters, which I sent, delivered, handed through lawyers and others. Perhaps they have never reached Oleh,” wrote Herashchenko on Facebook.
Ukrainian Commissioner for Human Rights Lyudmyla Denisova also confirmed that the priest was not allowed to visit Sentsov. “Today, Father Grigori, Bishop of the Apostolic Orthodox Church was not permitted to visit him. It is obvious that any reaction of the Russian government to Oleh Sentsov is categorically ‘no visiting!’” the Ombudsman posted on Facebook.
Sentsov was convicted of preparing terrorist attacks in the Crimea though the Ukrainian pleaded not guilty. In August 2015, the North Caucasus District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don sentenced Sentsov to 20 years in a maximum security penal colony.
Since May 14, 2018, he has been on a hunger strike, demanding the release of every fellow citizen from Russian prisons, whom he calls political prisoners.