Appeal for the immediate release of Oleg Sentsov

APR joins the call for the immediate release of Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian filmmaker arrested in Russia for political offense, who has been on hunger strike since May 14. The appeal can be signed here.


Today, on Russian soil, the FIFA World Cup 2018 is taking place.

Today, on the same Russian soil, a filmmaker hovers between life and death.

Aged 41, a father of two, he began an indefinite hunger strike on May 14, 2018, a month before the opening of the World Cup.

His name is Oleg Sentsov.

You probably know his name, but perhaps not his story.

The ukranian Oleg Sentsov was born in Simferopol, Crimea, where he lived with his wife and children until 11 May 2014, the day of his arrest by the FSB, the Russian secret service.

After his first critically acclaimed feature film, which won awards in many international festivals, Oleg Sentsov was preparing his second film “Rhino” when the first pro-European protests broke out in Ukraine in November 2013. A filmmaker and committed pro-European citizen, he postponed his film in order to actively participate in the Euromaidan movement. Refusing the Russian annexation of Crimea, he took to the streets and delivered food to hungry Ukrainian soldiers surrounded by pro-Russian forces. He finally decided to shoot his new feature that summer, the summer of 2014. But as he left his home on May 11 that year, Oleg Sentsov was kidnapped and tortured by the FSB for three weeks, before reappearing not in Crimea, but the depths of a Russian prison …

Despite the protests of Oleg Sentsov, who shouted to the judges that he was not a “serf”, and that they could not “annex” him as they did with his land, he was treated and tried as a Russian citizen, and sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment in a harsh labor camp, after a “Stalinist” trial, to cite Amnesty International.

As of 14 May 2018, Oleg Sentsov has started an indefinite hunger strike to demand the release of all Ukrainian political prisoners incarcerated like him in Russia.

If the European and international community does nothing else, Oleg Sentsov will die. His country was stolen, his nationality forcibly changed to that of his aggressors, and he was sentenced to twenty years at the bottom of an icy hole on the edge of the Arctic Circle. And Europe, the Europe he dreamed and fought for his country to join, that same Europe let him go.

If nothing happens, Oleg Sentsov will die. In his words, his life is the only weapon he has left to resist and defend the seventy Ukrainians that Putin holds hostage from their families and country for the sole reason that they do not agree with the expansionist policy he enforces with violence.

This man, who fights in the name of values ​​that we share, can not disappear. His death would be a terrible loss for humanity and another terrible setback for Europe.

If Oleg Sentsov dies today, it is not only Vladimir Putin but France, Germany, and Europe as a whole that would be stained with his blood.

So we call on Europe and the rest of the world to use every means in their possession to obtain the immediate release of Oleg Sentsov.

First signatories :

Marie Amachoukeli
Josza Anjembe
Yvan Attal
Jacques Audiard
Nabil Ayouch
Christophe Barratier
Antoine Barraud
Luc Battiston
Xavier Beauvois
Lucas Belvaux
Patrick Mario Bernard
Julie Bertuccelli
Thomas Bidegain
Simone Bitton
Bertrand Bonello
Jérôme Bonnel
Guillaume Brac
Isabelle Broué
Mikael Buch
Claire Burger
Dominique Cabrera
Thomas Cailley
Robin Campillo
Laurent Cantet
Leos Carax
Jean-Sébastien Chauvin
Chad Chenouga
Laurent Chevallier
Malik Chibane
Patrick Chiha
Hélier Cisterne
jean-Paul Civeyrac
Abraham Cohen
Antony Cordier
Catherine Corsini
Pierre Créton
Jean-Pierre Darroussin
Émilie Deleuze
Edouard Deluc
Claire Denis
Marie Desplechin
Caroline Deruas
Antoine Desrosières
Alice Diop
Frédéric Farrucci
Philippe Faucon
Léa Fehner
Pascale Ferran
Hélène Fillières
Emmanuel Finkiel
Dan Franck
Nicole Garcia
Philippe Garrel
Tony Gatlif
Dyana Gaye
Delphine Gleize
Yann Gonzalez
Romain Goupil
Emmanuel Gras
Eugène Green
Robert Guédiguian
Bourlem Guerdjou
Joana Hadjithomas
Rachid Hami
Mia Hansen-Love
Michel Hazanavicius
Agnès Jaoui
Thomas Jenkoe
Pierre Jolivet
Khalil Joreige
Sam Karmann
Vergine Keaton
Cédric Klapisch
Héléna Klotz
Nicolas Klotz
Pierre Lacan
Alexandre Lança
Laurent Larrivière
Sébastien Laudenbach
Nolwenn Lemesle
Louis-Do de Lencquesaing
Marceline Loridan-Ivens
Julie Lopes Curval
Mahamat Saleh Haroun
Bertrand Mandico
Vincent Mariette
Paul Marques Duarte
Tony Marshall
Valérie Massadian
Patricia Mazuy
ursula Meier
Agnès Merlet
Jonathan Millet
Dominik Moll
Gérard Mordillat
Safy Nebbou
Michel Ocelot
Mariana Otero
François Ozon
Arnaud des Pallières
Bojina Panayotova
Rithy Panh
Mélanie Pavy
Héloïse Pelloquet
Elisabeth Perceval
Thierry de Peretti
Serge le Péron
Christian Philibert
Nicolas Philibert
Bruno Podalydès
Caroline poggi
Jean-Baptiste Pouilloux
Katell Quillévéré
Lola Quivoron
Aude Léa Rapin
Jean-Paul Rappeneau
Brigitte Rouan
Christophe Ruggia
Nicolas Saada
Ghassan Salhab
Thomas Salvador
Pierre Salvadori
Julien Samani
Marjane Satrapi
Régis Sauder
Pierre Schoeller
Céline Sciamma
Julien Selleron
Claire Simon
Jan Sitta
Jérôme Soubeyrand
Bertrand Tavernier
Jean-Pierre Thorn
Marie-Claude Treilhou
Justine Triet
Pierre Trividic
Marion Vernoux
Catalina Villar
Jonathan Vinel
Elie Wajeman
Régis Wargnier
Yolande Zauberman
Roschdy Zem
Rebecca Zlotowski