#FreeSentsov
On May 14, 2018, Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov, who is illegally imprisoned in Russia, declared an indefinite hunger strike. Sentsov's only demand is the release of all 64 Ukrainian political prisoners held in the Russian Federation and in the Crimea
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145 days of hunger strike
BIOGRAPHY
Oleg Sentsov
Ukrainian film director, screenwriter, writer, public activist. General Director of the film company "Krai Kinema". Laureate of the Shevchenko Prize.
In 2008, he founded the company "Krai Kinema", made short films "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" and "A Bull's Horn". In 2012, he made his debut feature film "Gamer". At the Odesa International Film Festival, the film received two awards – the International Federation of Film Critics Award (FIPRSCI) and the Special Diploma of the National Competition. In 2013, he presented his second project, "The Rhino", the work on which was delayed due to the Revolution of Dignity – Oleg Sentsov took an active part in it.

He has two children, daughter Alina (b. 2002) and son Vladyslav (b. 2005).
CHRONOLOGY
May 11, 2014
Oleg Sentsov was detained in Simferopol by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation on suspicion of terrorism. Along with Sentsov they detained Gennady Afanasyev, Oleksiy Chirny and Oleksandr Kolchenko. According to the FSB, they planned a terrorist attack near the "Eternal Flame" memorial and the Lenin statue in Simferopol. They were also accused of arson of the offices of the Russian Community of Crimea NGO and the representative office of the United Russia party in Simferopol.
July 21, 2015
The North Caucasian District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don began a judicial investigation into the case of Oleg Sentsov and Oleksandr Kolchenko. There was no direct evidence that Sentsov and Kolchenko were planning a terrorist attacks. The case was built on the statements of only two witnesses, one of whom later renounced their testimony, while the other refused to repeat their accusations in court. Sentsov did not admit his guilt and called the case politically motivated and fabricated.
August 25, 2015
The North Caucasus District Military Court sentenced Sentsov to 20 years of imprisonment in a strict regime corrective colony. Oleksandr Kolchenko was sentenced to 10 years in a strict regime corrective colony. Both pleaded not guilty. During the sentencing Oleg and Oleksandr sang the national Ukrainian anthem.
February 2016
Sentsov was transported to Yakutia to serve his sentence.
October 7, 2017
The Ministry of Justice of Russia refused to extradite Oleg Sentsov to Ukraine, arguing that, in accordance with the law on the accession of the Crimea to Russia, Sentsov became a citizen of the Russian Federation. However, Sentsov and Kolchenko did not refuse their citizenship, and their containment is a violation of international law.
October 2017
Oleg Sentsov was transported to the corrective colony number 8 "The White Bear" in the city of Labytnangi (Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug).
February 6, 2017
Russia once again refused to release Sentsov and Kolchenko to Ukraine.
May 14, 2018
Oleg Sentsov declared an indefinite hunger strike demanding the release of 64 Ukrainian political prisoners held in Russia and the Crimea. However, he does not call for his own release.
October 6, 2018
Oleg Sentsov stopped his hunger strike. In a letter sent by his lawyer Dmitry Dinze, the director called it a "forced measure because of the threat of force-feeding". "145 days of struggle, 20 kg of lost weight, and a compromised body, but my goal has not been achieved. I am grateful to all who supported me and I apologize to those whom I have failed... Glory to Ukraine!", wrote Sentsov in the letter.
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SUPPORT
2014
• At the 67th Cannes Film Festival, the film market stands were covered in Sentsov's portraits

• Members of the Council of the European Film Academy wrote a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin and other high-ranking officials of the Russian Federation. In the letter, the film industry demanded to publicly state the location of Sentsov and his condition, conduct a full and unbiased investigation into his detention and release the director if the allegations are not proven. The latter had been signed by European directors, producers, actors, including Pedro Almodovar, Krzysztof Zanussi, Agnieska Holland, Aki Kaurismäki, Daniel Olbrychsky, Volker Schlöndorf, Bela Tarr, Bertrand Tavernier, Andrzej Wajda, Wim Wenders and others

A video statement by Ada Rogovtseva


• At the closing ceremony of the Moscow International Film Festival, the head of the Union of Cinematographers of Ukraine Serhiy Trymbach addressed V. Putin, demanding the release of Oleg Sentsov. He was joined by Russian director Nikita Mikhalkov.

• While in detention, Oleg Sentsov was invited to become an honorary member of the jury of the 62nd San Sebastian International Film Festival. At the Venice Film Festival-2014, the jury seat meant for Sentsov stayed symbolically empty.
2015
• Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev, the filmmaker behind the Oscar-nominated "Leviathan", made a statement of support

• Amnesty International called Oleg Sentsov's arrest unlawful

• At the end of May, the German Film Academy issued an open letter to the Russian government requesting the release of Oleg Sentsov. The letter was signed by directors Fatih Akin and Tom Ticker, cinematographer Michael Balhous, actresses Iris Berben and Veronica Ferres

• In solidarity with the Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov, the French Society of Cinematographers and the European Film Academy organized a 10-day action at the Cannes Film Festival within the framework of the "Biweekly of Directors" program. The photo of the Ukrainian director with the caption "Freedom to Oleg Sentsov" was shown before each of over fifty film screenings.
2016
• The Czech Film and Television Union FITNESS awarded Oleg Sentsov the special jury prize

• As part of the "Voice Project", actor Johnny Depp issued a statement demanding to release Oleg Sentsov
2017
• Askold Kurov's "The Trial. The Russian State vs Oleg Sentsov" premiered at the Berlin Film Festival

• In New York (USA), Oleg Sentsov was awarded the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award
2018
• While receiving the prize for directing at the Cannes Film Festival ("Donbass", Un Certain Regard program), Sergey Loznytsia reminded the audience about Oleg Sentsov's hunger strike

• More than 130 Russian professionals of culture and sciences made a statement "Save Oleg Sentsov", in which they demand to return the political prisoner to his homeland – Ukraine

• "Don't Let Oleg Die!": European Film Academy called for release of Oleg Sentsov. The letter was signed by such film and media luminaries as directors Mike Leigh, Stephen Daldry, Ken Loach, Krzysztof Zanussi etc. Everyone can join the call: https://bit.ly/ 2kpI8iC
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Odesa International Film Festival, The Ukrainian Film Academy, the National Union of Cinematographers of Ukraine, the Russian Film Union, the Confederation of Cinematographers of the CIS and Baltic countries, and the European Film Academy have all issued demands for the release of Oleg Sentsov. Since the director's arrest, protest rallies have been regularly held in a number of cities throughout Europe, demanding the release of Sentsov and other detained activists.


The Russian authorities have not reacted to any calls or demands.

"The Trial: The State of Russia vs Oleg Sentsov" (film trailer)
OLEG SENTSOV IN QUOTES
War is not pretty, but the truth is still on our side. We have not attacked anyone – we are defending ourselves
I'm not gonna say that we will see who wins. I already know who will win. The pursuit of freedom and progress cannot be stopped
There are many of us in captivity in Russia and even more in the Donbass. Some have already been released, others are waiting and hoping. Becoming a more famous prisoner and being exchanged faster than others – that is not the path I would choose to take
I was and I am a citizen of Ukraine. I do not recognize the annexation of Crimea and the military seizure of Crimea by the Russian Federation. I'm not a serf – I cannot be transferred along with the land.
People who don't believe the propaganda will have their say eventually. We also had a criminals in power. I just don't want you to be ruled by criminals. I wish the Russian people to learn how to not be afraid
I consider myself much freer than the overwhelming majority of Russians who live inside Chekhov's case and adore Putin from it through a hole
I am a baseball – the harder they hit me, the further I go
I don't want to pull extra attention. I want to be just another name on the list. It is unlikely that I will be offered to leave last, but that would be the better choice
Here in prison we are constrained. And not even in terms of freedom – that cannot be taken away. But by the fact that there is not much we can from here for our country. More accurately, we can do only one thing – stay strong! Don't try to get us out at any cost – that won't make victory come faster. But do use us as a weapon against the enemy!
If we are destined to become the nails in the lid of a tyrant's coffin, then I would like to be such a nail. Just know that this nail will never bend
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Made on
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