EU calls on Russia to free Sentsov, other Ukrainian citizens
The Spokesperson for EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations on Friday called on Russia to free detained and imprisoned Ukrainians, including filmmaker Oleh Sentsov, and representatives of the Crimean Tatar people.
"The European Union expects international human rights standards on the peninsula to be upheld and all illegally detained Ukrainian citizens in Russia and on the Crimean peninsula to be released without delay," the Spokesperson said in a May 25 statement on the cases of several detainees in or from the illegally-annexed Crimea and Sevastopol.
According to the statement, on May 14, 2018, Sentsov, a film director deported to eastern Siberia, began a hunger strike after four years of imprisonment. Another illegally-detained Ukrainian citizen, Volodymyr Balukh, has also recently spent two months on hunger strike.
"They have opposed the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula and were sentenced, by courts whose jurisdiction the EU does not recognise, in breach of international law and elementary standards of justice," it said.
Adding to the extremely worrying number of Crimean Tatars who have been persecuted and had their rights gravely violated, activists Server Mustafayev and Edem Smailov were also detained on May 21, 2018.