Russia must immediately release Oleg Sentsov: Julie Ward MEP

British Member of the European Parliament Julie Ward called for the release of Oleg Sentsov and all other hostages of the Kremlin during the debate on the resolution “Ukrainian political prisoners and situation in Crimea,” 16 March 2017.

I would like to thank Open Dialog Foundation for the work they continue to do to expose Russian state systematic abuse of human rights and also the international campaign #LetMyPeopleGo, which deserves more support and recognition.

I would especially like to raise the case of the Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who was a rising star in the international film scene before his unlawful arrest. And I also like to thank Belarus Free Theatre for their production #BurningDoors, which tells his story.

True and meaningful peace can only come about through intercultural dialogue and cultural diplomacy. What’s why artists and creators have such an important role to play in developing better democracies.

The Russian government must immediately release Sentsov and all prisoners it holds illegally, investigate reports of torture and give reparations to victims.