Maria Alyokhina in UK Parliament: Our cause should be life and liberation of Sentsov
The speech delivered by the human rights activist, ex-prisoner of the Putinist regime Masha Alyokhina in the House of Commons, London, October 10, 2016.
I was in jail in the case of Pussy Riot for two years. Over the last months, I perform every night on the stage as an actress of the Belarus Free Theatre. Every night I physically try to convey to the audience the part of my life in prison. I do this in order to make people understand and feel a hell of the routine life, which every political prisoner in Russia lives through. One of these prisoners is Oleg Sentsov.
Oleg is a well-known and talented Ukrainian film director. Perhaps he could present his new movie at the film festival in London, which takes place this week, but, instead, he is isolated in a colony in distant Siberia. Having withstood torture, he was sentenced to twenty years of strict regime on charges of terrorism, allegedly for having wanted to blow up a Lenin monument. In Crimea. This is absurd and nonsense.
We need to move from words to action. And our cause should be the life and liberation of Sentsov. When I was in prison, my life was out of danger thanks to your support and attention. Yet there is not enough attention in the case of Sentsov, hence there is such a threat. This must change.
The trial of Sentsov is not just one among the many cases of political persecution by the authorities. It is a symbol of violation of freedoms and values that you all share. There remain eighteen years for Oleg to serve, and he got this term only because he is a brave man, who spoke out in favor of these values. We can learn a lot from him and his act, but we must not accept the reality where Oleg remains in custody and put pressure on Russian officials. I am here in order to make the matter of Sentsov’s liberation our common cause. And I am sure that we should bring this matter to the end.
“It’s doesn’t matter when you die, but how and for what.” Sentsov’s address at Sakharov Prize ceremony
December 12, 2018
November 10, 2018