May 24, Kharkiv civil activists held a picket near the Russian consulate in Kharkiv to support Ukrainian citizens, filmmaker Oleh Sentsov and other political prisoners, confined by Russia.
The activists became particularly concerned and decided to actively protest after Oleh Sentsov declared he had started a hunger strike in the Russian prison.
The 41-year-old Ukrainian citizen Sentsov wrote a note, which he published with his lawyer’s assistance. It says that he has gone on an indefinite hunger strike since May 14, 2018, because he had been illegally sentenced to 20 years in prison by a Russian court and being in prison of Labytnangi town. Sentsov wrote that the only condition for stopping his starvation protest would be securing the freedom of all Ukrainian political prisoners, confined on the territory of the Russian Federation and the Crimea.
People, who know Oleh well, say he is a determined person and he won’t stop and will surely die unless his demand is satisfied.
At the piquet, about 30 Kharkiv activists held small posters with the inscriptions “I’m on hunger strike with Sentsov” and “Russia #FreeSentsov.” The meeting participants also demanded the Russian Federation to release all Ukrainian political prisoners.
Many people all over Ukraine added posters to their social networking pictures with the inscription “#Free Sentsov.”
Reference: Oleh Sentsov is a Ukrainian filmmaker and writer, best known for his 2011 film “Gamer.” He was arrested in the Crimea after its occupation in 2014, charged with “plotting terrorist acts” for his Ukrainian ideology and convicted and sentenced to 20 years in jail by the Russian court. The conviction is believed to be completely fabricated. Totally, 64 Ukrainians, who are considered political prisoners, have been incarcerated by Russia.
Text: Olena Sokolynska
Photo: Suren Kocharyan