In the European Parliament is today the prestigious sakharov Prize awarded to the Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov. His cousin took on behalf of the imprisoned filmmaker with the award in reception.
President Antonio Tajani praised in his speech the determination with which Sentsov democracy and human rights advocates. The Italian launched immediately a new call to the director without delay free. In the hemisphere were members of parliament pancartes with the inscription “Free Oleg Sentsov” up. The certificate was symbolically placed on an empty chair.
Sentsov was in Strasbourg, represented by his niece, Natalia Kaplan. She had a letter from the director. “What counts is not how someone has lived, or how someone is going to die, but to what aim”, read to them. Sentsov called it a special honor that his name is linked to that of Andrei Sakharov, the Soviet dissident for whom the prize is named.
Sentsov is derived from the Russian-annexed Crimea. The director was four years ago by Russian security services arrested and sentenced to 20 years in prison for “terrorism” and “arms trafficking”. In his prison in the northern Labytnangi began Sentsov this spring a hunger strike for the release of all political prisoners from the Ukraine to enforce. The action would ultimately be 145 days.
With the Prize distinguishes the European hemisphere each year a person or organization that has deployed for the human rights and free speech. The prize is awarded since 1988. The award is a sum of money of 50,000 euros. Former winners include Nelson Mandela, Alexander principle of non-interference, Denis Mukwege and Malala Yousafzai.