WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressional Ukrainian Caucus Co-Chairs Representative Sandy Levin (D-MI), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), and Andy Harris (R-MD) called on the Russian government to release Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov.
“As this injustice by the Russian government continues it is more important than ever that we stand up for the principles of free speech and a free press, including for those speaking out against tyranny. We remain deeply concerned about the Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, and call on Russian authorities to abide by the rule of law and release him immediately,” said the Co-Chairs.
Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian citizen and resident of Crimea, protested Russia’s occupation and annexation of Crimea. He was arrested in Crimea in May 2014, transported to Russia, and sentenced by a Russian military court to 20 years in prison on terrorism charges in August 2015. At the time of the sentencing, the U.S. State Department called his case a clear miscarriage of justice.
Last week, Oleg Sentsov began a hunger strike to protest his continued imprisonment as well as that of other Ukrainian political prisoners.
The U.S. Congressional Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe hosted a briefing in August 2017 scrutinizing Oleg Sentsov’s detention, calling it an injustice, and highlighting Russia’s human rights violations against other Ukrainian citizens.