Russia: Oleg Sentsov in critical condition
Ukrainian filmmaker and writer Oleg Sentsov, who has been on hunger strike since 14 May 2018, is reportedly in a critical condition., who visited him in prison on 7 August 2018, Oleg Sentsov has a low hemoglobin level, resulting in anemia and a slow heartbeat, and has lost over 30 pounds. He is refusing to be transferred to a civilian hospital as he is too weak to stand and says that medical staff there have previously been hostile towards him.
In apassed through his lawyer following the visit, Oleg Sentsov told his cousin Natalia Kaplan that he is being denied access to letters and that he is being kept in an ‘information vacuum’. He poignantly added that ‘the end is near’. He is currently being held in the ‘Polar Bear’ penal colony of Labytnangi, in Siberia, thousands of miles away from his home in Crimea, making messages of support all the more crucial.
Oleg Sentsov was taken to 15 June. His heart and kidney problems have considerably worsened. When Natalia Kaplan last visited him on 5 July 2018, she said that he had already lost over 30 pounds and had been put on a glucose drip. PEN International urgently calls for his immediate release.on
Please send appeals:
Urging the Russian authorities to release Oleg Sentsov immediately;
Calling on the Russian authorities to respect Oleg Sentsov’s human rights, including the prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment as it pertains to hunger strike and his right to medical attention, ensuring that he is treated humanely at all times and not punished in any way for his hunger strike;
- Urging the Russian authorities to respect Oleg Sentsov’s prisoner rights and give him access to correspondence.
Send appeals to:
Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation
Yuri Yakovlevich Chaika
Prosecutor General’s Office
ul. B. Dmitrovka, d.15a
125993 Moscow GSP- 3
Director of the Russian Penitentiary Service of the Russian Federation
Zhitnaya street 14,
119991 Moscow GSP-1
Send copies to the Embassy of Russia in your own country. Embassy addresses may be found here:.
Please reach out to your Ministry of Foreign Affairs and diplomatic representatives in Russia, calling on them to raise Oleg Sentsov’s case in bilateral fora.
***Please send appeals immediately. Check with PEN International if sending appeals after 9 September 2018. ***
Please inform PEN International of any action you take and of any responses you receive.
We are encouraging you to call the Embassy of Russia in your own country, asking them to release Oleg Sentsov.
PEN members are encouraged to:
- Publish articles and opinion pieces in your national or local press highlighting the case of Oleg Sentsov;
- Share information about Oleg Sentsov and your campaigning activities via social media; please use #FreeSentsov
- Organise public events, press conferences, and demonstrations;
- Celebrate Oleg Sentsov’s work through film screenings and readings.
Please let us know about your activities and send us reports so that we can share them with other Centres.
Message of support
We are actively asking you to collate messages of support and to send them to 20 August.. Please prioritize this action until at least
Best known for his 2011 film Gamer, Oleg Sentsov was arrested four years ago and sentenced to 20 years in prison on 25 August 2015 on spurious terrorism charges after a grossly unfair trial by a Russian military court, marred by allegations of torture. PEN International fears that he was imprisoned for his opposition to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
Oleg Sentsov has been on hunger strike since 14 May 2018. In ashared by his lawyer, Oleg Sentsov declared an ‘indefinite hunger strike’ and that ‘the sole condition for its cessation is the release of all Ukrainian political prisoners located in the territory of the Russian Federation’.
The United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the) explicitly states that prisoners should be allowed to correspond in writing with family and friends at regular intervals. Under , there is usually no limit to the number of letters prisoners may send or receive but correspondence needs be in Russian. The prison authorities are obliged to deliver letters with the minimum of delay. All correspondence is checked and read.
PEN Centres across the world have been actively calling for Oleg Sentsov’s immediate release. They have renewed efforts since his hunger strike by sending Belarussian.to the Russian authorities, taking part in , organizing , coordinating , collating messages , and taking part in , amongst other things. PEN International was also proud to publish three of Oleg Sentsov’s in English. The texts are now available in and
Oleg Sentsov is the winner of the.
For further details contact Aurélia Dondo at PEN International, Koops Mill, 162-164 Abbey Street, London, SE1 2AN, UK Tel: +44 (0) 20 7405 0338 Fax +44 (0) 20 7405 0339 e-mail: