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Oleg Sentsov became the first winner of the Sakharov Prize from Ukraine

Today, October 25th, at the scheduled meeting in Strasbourg the European Parliament has announced the shrotlist of the Andrei Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2018. Oleg Sentsov became the first winner of Ukraine in the history of the prize.

The European Parliament from Slovakia Eduard Kukan commented on the decision of the European Parliament: “Oleg Sentsov is a prisoner of conscience, an honest and innocent person who, after confrontation with the Russian occupation of Crimea, was sentenced to 20 years in prison by Russian courts on charges of planning terrorist acts. This is a violation of international law and elementary standards of justice. Supporting Oleg Sentsov, the European Parliament remained faithful to its convictions, the principles of democracy, human rights and dignity, the rule of law and freedom of thought “, the correspondent of Radio Liberty reports from the scene.

In turn, the representative of Ukraine in the European Parliament, Michael Gauler, said: “We nominated Oleg Sentsov for his peaceful protest against Russian occupation of his native Crimea and his hunger strike for the release of all Ukrainian political prisoners that are still beeing captured in Russia’s prisons. He became the voice of the other seven dozen innocent people confined in inhuman conditions of Russian prisons. Awarding this prize to Sentsov, we confirm that they have not been forgotten. Freedom of thought is the worst nightmare of all dictatorial and authoritarian regimes, because it does not allow them to control people and, therefore, is a powerful weapon to confront them. We should not allow freedom and hope to die silently. ”




The award ceremony will take place on December 12 in Strasbourg. Oleg Sentsov himself is still in custody for fraudulent evidence. His release is already the fourth year required by the whole world.

Reference: The annual award of the dissident Andrei Sakharov is awarded to the European Parliament since 1988 for its achievements in the field of human rights.

UPD: Under this link you can listen Olga Zhurzhenko’s interview at BBC World Service about Oleg Sentsov, his imprisonment, the struggle for the rights of political prisoners and the Sakharov Prize.

Recording of the commentary by Olga Zhurzhenko for the At World Tonight BBC in the story “Sir Philip Green named as a man who got an injunction to stop damaging allegations”, the start of a conversation at 40:16