Human Rights in Ukraine. Website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
The right to a fair trial

Nikita Mikhalkov also calls for Oleg Sentsov’s release


The charges against 38-year-old Oleg Sentsov, a renowned Ukrainian film director from the Crimea and solo father of two, are preposterous.  So too, however, are the charges against three other Crimeans, all known for their peaceful opposition to Russia’s annexation of the Crimea.  They are all in Moscow’s Lefortovo Prison, instead of the Crimea, making contact and practical assistance difficult, and maximum attention to the situation is vital.

 Nikita Mikhalkov is reported to have added his voice to the many calls to free Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov whom Russia’s FSB is accusing of ‘terrorism’.

Mikhalkov announced at the closing ceremony of the Moscow International Film Festival that he had addressed an appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Earlier in June a number of prominent European film directors, including Andrzej Wajda, Krzysztof Zanussi, Agnieszka Holland, Ken Loach, Mike Leigh, and Pedro Almodovar also interceded on Sentsov’s behalf.

RFEL reports that “even Russia’s own presidential council for human rights has appealed to Deputy Prosecutor General Viktor Grin to review the circumstances surrounding the arrests of Sentsov and a fellow Ukrainian activist, ecologist Oleksandr Kolchenko. A reply,  posted on June 26 on the council’s website, says prosecutors found "no grounds" for altering the detention of either suspect. “

Amnesty International has called on Russian authorities to investigate Sentsov’s allegations of ill-treatment and to return the Ukrainian detainees to Crimea. 

Russia’s Memorial Society recently showed Sentsov’s film Gaamer in Moscow.

“Memorial head Aleksandr Cherkasov calls Sentsov a "political prisoner."

"Yes, he’s a Maidan activist and he did a lot in Crimea -- for example, he helped Ukrainian soldiers get out of there safely, " Cherkasov said. "But the circumstances surrounding the accusations against him suggest they might be fabricated. 

"That’s one more reason, aside from the quality of the film, that Memorial needed to show ’Gaamer.’ In the end, it’s a normal expression of solidarity by filmmakers, journalists, and social activists for a colleague who, in a return to the old Russian-Soviet tradition, is now located in Lefortovo." 

Please sign the petition here: #sign   


The charges have been brought against four men.  As reported, on  May 30 Russia’s Federal Security Service [FSB] finally revealed details about the charges they plan to bring against four Crimeans, at least three of whom have been active in peaceful protest against the Russian annexation of the Crimea.  It claims that film director Oleg Sentsov; civic activist Alexander Kolchenko; lawyer Gennady Afanasyev and  Alexei Chirny are members of a Right Sector ‘diversionary terrorist group’.  Their main aim, or so the FSB version goes, was to carry out ‘diversionary-terrorist’ acts in Simferopol; Yalta and Sevastopol, and in the last of these to destroy a number of buildings, railway bridges and power lines.

There is no elaboration on the alleged plans to destroy buildings, etc in Sevastopol.  The FSB asserts that the men were planning bomb attacks during the early hours of May 9 [Victory Day] near the Eternal Flame and a Lenin monument in Simferopol.  They are also accused of arson attacks on the offices of the civic organization “Russian Community of the Crimea” on April 14 and the United Russia party offices in Simferopol on April 18.  There were no terrorist acts and the only action known to have even taken place was that on April 18 when one Molotov cocktail was indeed thrown into the United Russia offices. 

More details here: Russia’s FSB launches first Crimean show trial

Recommend this post

forgot the password




send me a new password