Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov, convicted in Russia on spurious charges, has begun working on a new film while in prison. His attorney, Dmitry Dinze, disclosed the film’s working title - “Numbers” - in a comment to Russian news outlet Novaya Gazeta after visiting the White Bear penal colony in Labytnangi.
According to the attorney, he brought the supporting materials to the filmmaker for review.
“He still does not look very well, but he refuses to stop the hunger strike, despite the fact that all political routes to have him and the other Ukrainian political prisoners returned to Ukraine have been taken,” Dinze noted.
Dinze also said that Sentsov is being subjected to psychological pressure by prison wardens, who threaten to force-feed him, and who clearly do not want the political prisoner transferred to a civilian hospital.
According to Dinze, Sentsov’s cell is extremely stuffy and has poor ventilation. It is hard for Sentsov to walk, but he continues to read and write a lot.
Dinze told Sentsov that the Kremlin requires him personally to ask to be pardoned, before they will even start to consider a possible pardon. Oleh once again refused to ask pardon from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Dinze and Sentsov will meet again at the end of September or start of October.
On September 6, a petition for Sentsov’s release on the White House website collected more than the number of votes required for consideration: 101,000 signatures (only 100,000 are required).
Oleh Sentsov declared a hunger strike on May 14, demanding the liberation of all Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia and occupied Crimea. His condition is deteriorating – he has anemia, dystrophy and hypoxia, and has been critical on three occasions.
Oleh Sentsov and Alexander Kolchenko were arrested by FSB staff in the spring of 2014 in occupied Crimea. They were taken to Russia, where Sentsov was sentenced to 20 years of high-security prison on spurious charges of organizing an act of terror. Kolchenko was sentenced to 10 years of prison. Both Sentsov and Kolchenko pleaded innocent.