Monday, October 29, 2018

Film maker Oleg Sentsov, who has been described by Vladimir Putin as a terrorist is given human rights prize by European Union

Its hard to imagine that you can be called a terrorist by the uncivilized Russian terrorist(a real animal) who just happen to invaded your country, but it is real....

A Crimean dissident sentenced to 20 years in Russian prison has been awarded the European parliament’s prestigious Sakharov prize in a sharp criticism of Russia’s human rights record likely to provoke anger from the Kremlin.

Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian film-maker vocally opposed to Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, was convicted on terrorism charges in 2015 and sentenced to two decades in prison.

He held a 145-day hunger strike earlier this year to oppose his imprisonment in a penal colony in Russia’s far north and Moscow’s refusal to extradite him to his native Ukraine.

The award is the first to a recipient from the former Soviet Union in nearly a decade.

Prosecutors said Sentsov had plotted to blow up a Lenin statue and set fire to the offices of two Russian organisations in the city of Simferopol shortly after Crimea was annexed. Critics say the charges against Sentsov were invented and that he is a political prisoner.

Previous winners of the Sakharov award include Nelson Mandela, Alexander Dubček, Aung San Suu Kyi and Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani campaigner for female education who barely survived a Taliban assassination attempt.

Supporters say they hope the award will increase pressure on Russia to release Sentsov, whom doctors said came close to death during his hunger strike.

“Through his courage and determination, by putting his life in danger, the film-maker Oleg Sentsov has become a symbol of the struggle for the release of political prisoners held in Russia and around the world,” the European parliament president, Antonio Tajani, said during a plenary session in Strasbourg.

“By awarding him the Sakharov prize, the European parliament is expressing its solidarity with him and his cause,” he said.

Tajani also called for Sentsov’s release. Vladimir Putin had rebuffed a similar plea from Sentsov’s mother, calling him a terrorist and saying the request would have to come from the film director himself. Sentsov has refused.

The decision by the European parliament, which has awarded the Sakharov prize annually since 1988, comes at one of the most tense moments in Russia’s relationship with Europe in decades. Moscow has vocally considered leaving European human rights bodies over allegations of bias, including the Council of Europe.

The Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, said on Thursday that he hoped the award would hasten Sentsov’s release.

No comments:

Post a Comment