Shock About the 20-Year Verdict for Oleg Sentsov

 

More Than 1,000 Supporters Across Europe Signed Letter to Free Oleg Sentsov

In the face of today's 20-year verdict for the Ukrainian filmmaker the European Film Academy wishes to express its shock. During the past days, supporters, institutional and individual, have gathered well over 1,000 signatures for the EFA letter to the President of Russia and Russian authorities asking for Sentsov’s immediate release. The filmmaker was arrested by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) in his house in Simferopol on 11 May 2014 and imprisoned in Russia for over a year before his trial even began. Although the key witness has retracted his testimony as given "under duress”, the trial based on the accusation of Oleg Sentsov having committed “crimes of a terrorist nature” was continued, prosecution called for a 23-year sentence, and today he was sentenced to 20 years in jail. 

On an initiative by the EFA Board a letter had been sent to President Putin and the Russian authorities asking for Oleg Sentsov's immediate release. With the support by national film academies and individual calls by the Polish Film Academy, the German Film Academy, the Austrian and the Czech Film Academies as well as the Union of Russian Filmmakers, well over 1,000 supporters, most of them from the world of filmmaking, but also members of the public who feel passionately about the case, have added their names to this letter and are calling for Sentsov’s release.