Press release

Statement to mark 100th day of hunger strike by Ukrainian political prisoner

Minister for Europe Sir Alan Duncan calls for the immediate release of Ukrainian political prisoners held by Russia.

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Two Ukrainian nationals held in Russian detention, Oleg Sentsov and Volodymyr Balukh, are on hunger strike to demand the Russian authorities release all Ukrainian political prisoners. Today marks Oleg Sentsov’s 100th day on hunger strike.

Minister for Europe and the Americas Sir Alan Duncan said:

On the 100th day of Oleg Sentsov’s hunger strike, we remain extremely concerned for Mr Sentsov’s health and treatment at the hands of the Russian authorities.

Mr Sentsov was detained by Russia after expressing peaceful opposition to the illegal annexation of Crimea. He was convicted on fabricated terrorism charges and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Mr Balukh is also on long term hunger strike and it is reported that the conditions of both men are rapidly deteriorating and their lives are under threat.

It is critical that Russia allows Ukrainian officials and international humanitarian organisations unrestricted access to Mr Sentsov, Mr Balukh and up to 70 other Ukrainian political prisoners. No one should be imprisoned for opposing the illegal annexation of Crimea. Russia must now uphold its obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law and release them immediately.

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Published 21 August 2018