Johannes Hahn / Twitter

European Union Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn urged the Russian Federation to release the illegally convicted Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov so that he can attend the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize awarding ceremony.

"Next week, #Ukrainian film director Oleg #Sentsov will be awarded the #SakharovPrize by @Europarl_EN. Convicted to 20 years in prison, he won’t be able to receive the prize in person," the Commissioner tweeted.

He concluded the tweet with a hashtag LetSentsovGetSakharov,

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As UNIAN reported earlier, in spring 2014, Oleh Sentsov was arrested in the Russian-occupied Crimea and in August 2015, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison following an unfair trial where he faced "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.

Read alsoU.S. calls on Russia to free Sentsov, other Ukrainian political prisoners

Sentsov began his hunger strike on May 14, 2018, demanding that Russia free all Ukrainian political prisoners. In early October, Sentsov announced he had to end his hunger strike due to the deterioration of his health and threats of forced feeding.

Moscow-based journalist Natalya Kaplan, Sentsov's cousin, confirmed that she, together with lawyer Dmitry Dinze, would visit Strasbourg on December 12 to take part in in the award ceremony.