Society, Incidents

 Russian political prisoner Sentsov wins 2018 Sakharov Prize

Oleh Sentsov, a Ukrainian filmmaker jailed in Russia after opposing Moscow's takeover of his native Crimea, was awarded by the European Parliament with its prestigious 2018 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

Sentsov was awarded the 50,000 euro ($58,000) prize for an "exceptional contribution" to human rights around the world, the center-right EPP and the liberal ALDE groups in parliament said on Oct. 25, Censor.NET reports citing Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty media outlet.

The prize is to be awarded during a ceremony in the parliament in Strasbourg on Dec. 12.

Sentsov, who said earlier this month that he was forced to end a 145-day hunger strike in a prison in northern Russia, had been selected as one of three finalists in a closed Oct. 9 vote by members of the European Parliament’s foreign affairs and development committees.

The other short-listed candidates were Moroccan activist Nasser Zefzafi and 11 NGOs that work to save the lives of migrants traveling across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.

Sentsov, a Crimean native who opposed Russia's 2014 takeover of the Ukrainian peninsula, is serving a 20-year prison term after being convicted of terrorism in a trial that he, human rights groups, and Western governments contend was politically motivated.

He is currently imprisoned in the Far Northern Yamalo-Nenets region of Russia where he started a hunger strike on May 14, demanding that Russia release 64 Ukrainians that he considers political prisoners in Russia.

He ended his hunger strike on October 6, saying he had to do so to avoid being force-fed by the prison authorities.

The prize, named in honor of the Soviet physicist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, was established by the European Parliament in 1988 to honor individuals and organizations who defend human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Источник: https://censor.net.ua/en/n3093322