Press release

Minister comments on sentencing of Oleg Sentsov and Oleksandr Kolchenko

Minister for Europe concerned about sentencing of Oleg Sentsov and Oleksandr Kolchenko in Russia.

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Speaking after the sentencing of film director, Oleg Sentsov and ecologist, Oleksandr Kolchenko in a military court in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Minister for Europe David Lidington said:

I am deeply concerned that Oleg Sentsov and Oleksandr Kolchenko have been sentenced to 20 years and 10 years respectively in a Russian prison following their trial in a military court in Rostov-on-Don.

From the outset the international community has had concerns about both of the men’s access to a fair trial. These appear to be disproportionate and politically motivated charges. Oleg Sentsov claims to have been tortured in pre-trial detention and both were denied access to their lawyers for more than four days after their transfer from Crimea to Moscow. Judicial decisions must be free from interference and comply with the rule of law. I am concerned that this is not currently the case in Russia.

Notes to Editors:

  1. Oleg Sentsov and Oleksandr Kolchenko have been in detention since May 2014 following their arrest in Simferopol, Crimea and being illegally transferred to Russia.

  2. More information about rule of law in Russia can be found in the Russia - country of concern report from March 2015 and Russia - in-year-update from July 2015.

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Published 25 August 2015
Last updated 25 August 2015 + show all updates
  1. Added translation
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  3. First published.