Zoya Svetova writes to Nikita Mikhalkov about case of Oleg Sentsov

posted 2 Jul 2015, 00:30 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 2 Jul 2015, 00:39 ]
24 June 2015

Source: HRO.org (info
The journalist and human rights defender Zoya Svetova has written an open letter to film director Nikita Mikhalkov in which she reminds him about the case of the Ukrainian film director, Oleg Sentsov, detained in Crimea, who continues to be held in a pre-trial detention centre in Russia.

"Almost a year ago at the closing ceremony of the XXXVI Moscow International Film Festival you said that you would add your name to the request by the chair of the Union of Filmmakers of Ukraine, Sergei Trimbach, and ask President Putin to release Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov,” Svetova writes.

The human rights defender pointed out that now the only thing that has changed in Sentsov’s case is that he is being transferred "in a prison train from Moscow to Rostov-on-Don where he is to be tried for terrorist acts in Crimea that he never committed and did not intend to commit and which never took place in Crimea.”

Zoya Svetova has visited Oleg Sentova in the pre-trial detention facility where he has been held on a number of occasions.

"All this time Oleg Sentsov has continued to consider himself a Ukrainian citizen and has asked for a meeting with the consul,” Zoya Svetova writes in her letter to Nikita Mikhalkov.

Zoya Svetova reminds Nikita Mikhalkov of the campaign in support of the Ukrainian film director in which prominent figures of world cinema Krzysztof Zanussi, Pedro Almodóvar, Agnieszka Holland and Jos Stelling have taken part.

"I am writing this letter to you so that when the judge of the North Caucasus Military District Court finds Oleg Sentsov guilty and sentences him to 15-20 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, you will not say that you had not heard anything and do not know anything about his case,” Sentsova writes.

On 11 June 2015 the General Prosecutor’s Office forwarded the case of Oleg Sentsov to court.

Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov was detained in Crimea by FSB officers in May 2014. Since then he has been held in a pre-trial detention center in Russia. He has been charged with preparing acts of terrorism in Simferopol, Yalta and Sevastopol for the purpose of destabilizing the political situation in the peninsula. Sentsov denies the charges. On 16 April the investigation brought the final version of the charges against Sentsov, adding one additional charge to those already made, namely ‘illegal possession of a weapon’.

From 29 June until 2 July in Berlin a festival is to be held entitled ‘Days of Ukrainian Cinema in Support of Oleg Sentsov’, organized on a voluntary basis by Ukrainian film producers for the purpose of supporting Oleg Sentsov, and also in order to publicize Ukrainian culture.

Source: Crimea. Realities