European Parliament may adopt resolution on human rights situation in Russia

According to Ukrainian human rights activist Maria Tomak ,the European Parliament will debate a resolution on the human rights situation in Russia, particularly regarding the case of Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian film director from the Crimea.  

“On Thursday [June 14], there will be a vote on the document. The idea and initiative for the resolution lays with European Deputy Rebecca Harms, for whom the topic of Ukraine has been a priority for a long time and who has closely monitored the situation of the Kremlin’s prisoners. Today, she shared her predictions regarding the vote. In particular, the resolution is not supported by the ultra-right forces, as well as ‘new’ and ‘old’ communists,” the human rights wrote on Facebook.

World leaders on all continents who have been invited to attend the World Soccer Championship in Russia have urged not to do so until Russian President Vladimir Putin complies with the demand for Oleg Sentsov, a prisoner from the Crimea, and the release of seventy Ukrainian political prisoners held in Russian prisons. A corresponding petition appeared on June 6 on the website opendemocracy.net.

Ukrainian and foreign politicians, including German European Deputy Rebecca Harms, have signed the petition, as have writers, journalists, scientists, human rights activists, actors, and international film and theater directors. Signatories include Yurii Andrukhovych, Serhiy Zhadan, Ann Applebaum, Edward Lucas, and Askold Kurov (director of the documentary film The Trial about the trial of the "Sentsov group", among others.

Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov, who has been convicted by Russia, announced on May 14 an indefinite hunger strike to demand the release of all Ukrainian political prisoners in Russian prisons. On May 31, he stated that he was "not interested in exchange" because he is "a man who goes to the end."

Activists in Ukraine and around the world continue to demand Russia and President Vladimir Putin release illegally detained Ukrainians. Demonstrations have been held in different countries and on different continents under the slogans #FreeOlegSentsov and #SaveOlegSentsov.

Sentsov and Crimean anarchist Oleksandr Kolchenko were detained by representatives of Russian special services in the Crimea in May 2014 on charges of organizing terrorist attacks on the peninsula. In August 2015, the North Caucasian District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don sentenced Sentsov to 20 years in a maximum-security prison on charges of terrorist activities in the territory of the Crimea. Kolchenko received 10 years in prison. Both did not admit their guilt.

The Human Rights Center “Memorial” has added Sentsov and Kolchenko to their list of political prisoners.

  human rights, Russia, European Parliament

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