We, participants of the global campaign #SaveOlegSentsov in Germany, France, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland, Georgia, Poland, Belgium, Kuwait, United Kingdom, Canada, USA, Australia, Israel, United Arab Emirates , Portugal, Russia, Austria and Ukraine, address the leaders of the world’s countries.
We ask you to take urgent action in order to save the life of Ukrainian movie director Oleg Sentsov, who had been named as prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, and to do everything possible to have all citizens of Ukraine deprived of their liberty for political reasons in Russia and the occupied Crimea released.
On 14 May this year Oleg Sentsov declared an open-ended hunger strike. As the one and only condition for its termination, he named the release of all Ukrainian political prisoners. There are about 70 of them, among them artists, journalists, human rights defenders, students and Crimean Tatars.
With such a desperate move, Oleg Sentsov is trying to draw the attention of the international community to political persecutions in Russia and the occupied Crimea. He has put his life on the line and is prepared to see it through. We must not allow his death.
We ask the leaders of the world’s countries to join our call:
On the Russian Federation – to release Oleg Sentsov and all those deprived of their liberty for political reasons in Russia and the occupied Crimea.
On G7 countries – to discuss at the 44th G7 summit in Canada the release of Oleg Sentsov and all those deprived of their liberty for political reasons in Russia and the occupied Crimea, and to begin separate negotiations between Russia and Ukraine for their release, where to act as mediators.
On leaders of the world – to raise the issue of the human rights situation and political prisoners in Russia and the occupied Crimea at all events attended by official representatives of the Russian Federation, particularly during the events dedicated to the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
On Ukraine – to create a post of special representative for the rights of Ukrainian citizens deprived of their liberty for political reasons in Russia and the occupied Crimea.
We also address civil society around the world. We need your support and solidarity. On the eve of one of the most anticipated sports events in Russia, the whole world should be saying: “During this World Cup, I’m rooting for the political prisoners.”
Cover photo – Copyright © 2018 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty