Sentsov goes on hunger strike in Russian penal colony
Ukrainian citizen Oleh Sentsov, who was convicted for terrorism in Russia, has gone on hunger strike, according to a report posted on the website Hromadske, citing Sentsov's cousin Natalia Kaplan.
"I, Oleh Sentsov, a citizen of Ukraine, who was illegally convicted by a Russian court and who is in a penal colony in Labytnangi, went on a timeless hunger strike on May 14, 2018. The only condition for its halt is the release of all Ukrainian political prisoners who are on the territory of Russia," Sentsov said in a statement, a scanned copy of which was published by the media outlet.
According to the media outlet, Sentsov has told his lawyer he had been preparing for this step for two months, refusing to take food brought for him from outside and "physically preparing the body."
In regard of this incident, the defense lawyer said he does not rule out that Sentsov may be ordered to undergo a forced psychiatric evaluation and may be force-fed.
The Northern Caucasus District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don sentenced Sentsov, who was detained in Crimea in 2014, to 20 years in a high-security penal colony in August 2015 for an attempt to create a terrorist community in Crimea.
Sentsov is serving his sentence in a high-security correctional facility known as Bely Medved (White Bear) in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District.