Latvian Foreign Minister calls on Russia to release imprisoned filmmaker Sentsov unconditionally
Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs urged Russia to immediately release convicted Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov without preconditions.
"I call on Russia for the immediate and unconditional release of unlawfully convicted Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov. His hunger strike lasting more than 90 days causes deep concerns for his health,” Rinkēvičs wrote on Twitter. The Russian commission rejected two earlier requests for pardon from his mother and from Archbishop Kliment of Simferopol and the Crimea.
Lyudmila Sentsova submitted a request to the Russian President in mid-July. In August, the Administration of Vladimir Putin answered that Sentsov should appeal to the Russian President himself to initiate a pardon procedure.
Sentsov and Crimean resident Olexander Kolchenko were detained by Russian intelligence services in annexed Crimea in May 2014 on charges of "terrorist attacks on the peninsula." In August 2015, the North Caucasus district military court in Rostov-on-Don sentenced Sentsov to 20 years of imprisonment. Kolchenko was sentenced to 10 years in penal colony. Both men maintained their innocence.
On May 14, Sentsov declared an indefinite hunger strike, demanding the release of all Ukrainian political prisoners. He is still continuing his strike.