UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has welcomed the nomination of the Kremlin political prisoner, Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, for this year's Sakharov Prize.
"Oleg Sentsov’s 145 day hunger strike was a damning reflection of the injustice faced by Ukrainian political prisoners held by Russia. I welcome his nomination by @Europarl_EN for this year’s Sakharov Prize," Hunt tweeted.
Oleg Sentsov’s 145 day hunger strike was a damning reflection of the injustice faced by Ukrainian political prisoners held by Russia. I welcome his nomination by @Europarl_EN for this year’s Sakharov Prize. If you haven’t heard of his struggle, read this: https://t.co/KO6G7gVGhY— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) October 12, 2018
The finalists for the 2018 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought are: Oleg Sentsov, 11 NGOs saving migrant lives across the Mediterranean Sea and Morocco's political activist Nasser Zefzafi, according to the European Parliament.
This year's finalists for Parliament's Sakharov Prize were chosen by the foreign affairs and development committees on October 9.
As UNIAN reported earlier, Sentsov was arrested in the Russian-occupied Crimea in spring 2014 and in August 2015, following a mock trial, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison on trumped-up "terrorism" charges stemming from his opposition to Russia's occupation of Crimea.
He has been serving his term in a penal colony in the town of Labytnangi, Russia's Yamal. He went on hunger strike on May 14, demanding that Russia free all Ukrainian political prisoners.
On October 5, the Russian penitentiary agency reported that Sentsov declared an end to the hunger strike starting October 6. Sentsov noted that, had he moved on with the strike, he would have been force-fed due to his critical condition.
UNIAN memo. The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, named in honor of the Soviet physicist and political dissident Andrei Sakharov, is awarded each year by the European Parliament. It was set up in 1988 to honor individuals and organizations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms. The year 2018 marks 30 years since the Sakharov Prize was first conferred.