Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov has stopped his nearly five-month hunger strike, Ukrainian human rights commissioner Liudmyla Denisova has reported on her Facebook page.
"I have just talked with Chairman of the Presidential Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights Mikhail Fedotov. He said that he possesses information from the leadership of the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service that Oleh Sentsov wrote a statement refusing the hunger strike. The reasons for this are unknown", - she wrote.
According to her, now the Ukrainian is meeting with a lawyer in the Labytnangi colony.
As previously reported, the Russian media spread the information, with reference to the Deputy Director of the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service, Valeriy Maksimenko, that Oleh Sentsov stopped the hunger strike, which he had started on May 14.
Oleh Sentsov was born in Simferopol. In 2011, he made his first film, Gamer. The film was presented at the Rotterdam Film Festival. It was awarded with the prize of the Guild of Film Experts and Film Critics at the festival Spirit of Fire in Khanty-Mansiysk. At the 3rd Odessa International Film Festival, Sentsov's movie was awarded a special jury diploma. In May 2012, Gamer received a prize of $1 thousand at the 3rd International Film Festival in Truskavets. In July 2013, Sentsov began filming a new film Rhinoceros about the children of the 1990s.
After the beginning of the Maidan, Sentsov became an activist of Avtomaidan. During the Crimean crisis, he supported the movement for a united Ukraine. May 11, 2014 Sentsov went to protest in Simferopol, later on that day he was detained by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation on suspicion of terrorism.
On May 30, 2014, the FSB announced the detention of Sentsov and three other suspects. According to the FSB, the main purpose of the suspects was the commission of subversive and terrorist acts in Simferopol, Sevastopol and Yalta.
On August 25, 2015, the North Caucasian District Military Court in Russia sentenced Oleh Sentsov to 20 years in a strict-regime colony on charges of terrorist activities in the territory of Crimea.
He is currently being held in the 'Polar Bear' penal colony of Labytnangi. On May 14, 2018, the director announced an unlimited hunger strike demanding the release of all Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia. The Ukrainian stated that either he would die, or his demands would be fulfilled. According to the lawyer, he does not demand his own release. On May 31, he declared that he was “not interested in exchange”, because he is “a person who goes to the end”.
Activists in Ukraine and around the world continue to demand that Russia and President Vladimir Putin release the illegally detained Ukrainians. Rallies are being held in different countries and on different continents under the slogans #FreeSentsov and #SaveOlehSentsov.