PEN America has sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, demanding the immediate and unconditional release of the wrongfully imprisoned Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov.
"We, the undersigned artists, writers, filmmakers, and activists, join PEN America to call for the immediate and unconditional release of the wrongfully imprisoned Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov. In light of Sentsov's ongoing hunger strike, our request is urgent," the letter says.
"As Russia prepares to host the World Cup in the coming weeks, the eyes of the world will be on the country. Sentsov's campaign will rightly draw attention to the injustice of his detention and that of dozens of other political prisoners in Russia. He has told his lawyer he is willing to die to bring global attention to his cause. In the spirit of this unifying global event, we therefore urge you to take this opportunity to make a powerful statement by releasing Oleg Sentsov immediately and unconditionally. His life depends on it," the letter said.
The letter was signed by famous artists, writers and filmmakers, including recipients of the Nobel Prize in Literature J. M. Coetzee and Herta Müller, as well as famous writers, such as Salman Rushdie, Jonathan Franzen, Ian McEwan, Margaret Atwood, Paul Auster, Daniel Handler, Francine Prose, George Saunders, Alice Sebold, Art Spiegelman, Anne Tyler, and others.