Ukrainian filmmaker Sentsov claims EU rights prize after jail release


UKRAINIAN filmmaker Oleg Sentsov is set to receive the European Union’s top rights prize on Tuesday after his release from prison in Russia.

Sentsov was unable to claim the Sakharov prize, which is handed out by EU lawmakers for contributions to freedom of thought, in 2018.

He was a fierce critic of Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.

Sentov was sentenced in 2015 to two decades in a Russian prison after being convicted of conspiracy to commit terrorist attacks in Crimea.

Following his release in September as part of a prisoner swap between Moscow and Kiev, Sentsov is to claim his award at a ceremony in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.

Sentsov’s best-known work is his 2011 film `Gamer,’ a drama about a video-game enthusiast in Crimea.

The motion picture was critically acclaimed upon appearing at several international film festivals.

The EU’s legislature established the prize in 1988.

The first laureate was South Africa’s Nelson Mandela.

In recent years, the award has gone to the Venezuelan opposition, two survivors of sexual enslavement by Islamic State and most recently the incarcerated Uighur academic Ilham Tohti.

The prize ceremony for Tohti is to take place on Dec. 18.


– Nov. 26, 2019 @ 16:45 GMT |


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