Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov
Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov

Jailed Ukrainian filmmaker awarded Sakharov Prize

ANI | Updated: Oct 25, 2018 20:16 IST

Brussels [Belgium], Oct 25 (ANI): The European Union on Thursday conferred the 2018 Sakharov Prize to Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who is currently imprisoned in Russia for allegedly plotting acts of terrorism.
Originally from Crimea, the territory which was annexed by Russia from Ukraine in 2014, Sentsov was sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment by a Russian court for plotting arson attacks in Crimea in 2015. He has been a vocal critic of Russia's "illegal capture" of Crimea, euro news reported.
In a statement, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said, "Through his courage and determination, by putting his life in danger, the filmmaker Oleh Sentsov has become a symbol of the struggle for the release of political prisoners held in Russia and around the world."
The €50,000 prize award, named after Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, was initiated in 1988 to honour individuals or groups who are considered the defenders of human rights and fundamental freedoms, the report said.
Many international organisations, renowned personalities and human rights activists have called for Sentsov's release, stating that his arrest was unlawful and in breach of international laws.
On May 14, Sentsov went on a hunger strike in Siberia, calling for the release of 64 other prisoners held in Russia and Crimea. He ended his strike on October 6, saying he wanted to avoid being force-fed by the prison authorities.
The award will be presented in a ceremony in Strasbourg, France on December 12, as per reports. (ANI)