Ukraine: Oleh Sentsov, illegally detained by Russia, among finalists for the 2018 Sakharov Prize

Photo: LesM /
Photo: LesM /

Oleh Sentsov, a Ukrainian film director who is being illegally detained by Russia, has been shortlisted for the 2018 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

The European Parliament’s Conference of Presidents (President and political group leaders) will select the final laureate on 25 October. The prize will be awarded in a ceremony in the Parliament’s hemicycle in Strasbourg on 12 December.

Sentsov was sentenced to 20 years in prison for “plotting terrorist acts” against the Russian “de facto” rule in Crimea. Amnesty International has described the court process as “an unfair trial before a military court”.

Sentsov has become a symbol for the approximately 70 Ukrainian citizens illegally arrested and condemned to long prison sentences by the Russian occupation forces on the Crimean peninsula. He has been on hunger strike since May 2018.

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List of nominees