CoE Secretary General Jagland calls on Putin to pardon Sentsov
Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland has submitted a petition to Russian President Vladimir Putin for pardoning a hunger-striking Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov, illegally convicted in Russia on trumped-up "terrorism" charges.
The CoE press service says the petition has already been sent, and now an official confirmation via Russian diplomatic channels is expected, as reported by Voice of America's Ukrainian service.
On June 20, Jagland visited Moscow, where he met with President Putin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russia's Ombudsperson Tatiana Moskalkova. Following the visit, the Secretary General said he was ready to file a petition to Putin calling for Sentsov's pardon.
As UNIAN reported earlier, Sentsov went on a hunger strike on May 14, demanding the release of all Ukrainian political prisoners. On May 31, he stated that he was "not interested in being swapped," as he is "a man who does or dies."
Ukrainian Ombudsperson Liudmyla Denisova on May 13 flew to Russia to pay visits to Ukrainian political prisoners held in Russian prisons. She intended to meet with Sentsov first. On the same day, Russia's Ombudsperson Tatiana Moskalkova said that Denisova went to Sentsov on a "personal initiative," and that her visit had not been agreed.
So far, the Russian side has neither allowed Denisova to visit Sentsov nor talk to him via video link.
UNIAN memo. Sentsov was detained by FSB operatives in Crimea in the spring of 2014. He was transferred to Russia, where he was tried on trumped-up charges of plotting terrorist attacks and arson of party offices on the peninsula.
The Russian court in August 2015 sentenced Sentsov to 20 years in prison.
He is being held in the colony located in a distant Arctic town of Labytnangi in Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area, Russia.