Council of Europe Secretary General asks Putin to release Sentsov – Mass Media

June 25, 2018

On Monday, June 25, Secretary General of the Council of Europe (COE) Thorbjorn Jagland has filed an official request to Russian President Vladimir Putin to pardon Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov, was sentenced to 20 years in a strict regime penal colony. This was announced by the Director of the Communications Department, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe Daniel Holtgen to the DW publication, reports Krim.Realii.

"On Monday, Jagland will submit an official request for Sentsov’s release", Holtgen said and added that head of the Council of Europe, the Secretary General has the right to do this in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights. 

On June 20 Jagland visited Moscow, where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova. According to Holtgen, during the talks with Putin, he did not raise the issue of release of Ukrainian political prisoners. However, during  the meetings with Lavrov and Moskalkova he called on the Russian side to release Oleg Sentsov for humanitarian reasons.

"The Russian side listened to this appeal, but did not express any support or objections," the deputy Secretary General said. Therefore, according to him, the Secretary General decided personally to appeal about the release of Oleg Sentsov.

May 11, 2014 representatives of Russian special services detained Oleg Sentsov on charges of organizing terrorist attacks in Crimea. In August 2015, the North Caucasus District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don sentenced Oleg Sentsov to 20 years in a strict-security colony on charges of terrorist activities in the territory of  Crimea.

On May 14, he announced an indefinite hunger strike demanding the release of Ukrainian political prisoners.

The international community repeatedly appealed to the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin with an appeal to release Oleg Sentsov, but for more than four years the Ukrainian director has been forced to illegally stay in the FSB torture chambers.