Problem-solving through social networks
On July 12, 2018, via their official Twitter, the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called Russia to immediately #FreeSentsov and all political prisoners.
“Canada remains concerned by the plight of Oleg #Sentsov, as today marks day 60 of his hunger strike,” says the agency’s statement. Meanwhile, his mother interceded with the Russian President Vladimir Putin for her son on June 22, 2018, although the letter was made public only today. According to Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin learned about Lyudmila Sentsova’s request from mass media which cannot be considered a formal application.
“Therefore, we will wait until it arrives. It will certainly be examined, but there is no time fixed.”
Oleg Sentsov, arrested in Crimea on May 11, 2014, was found guilty of terrorism and sentenced to 20 years in prison in Russia. As stated in the investigation, he had intentions of exploding the Lenin monument and the Eternal Flame in Simferopol. In reality, it was only proven that he set fire to a door of the Russian Community in Crimea and a window of the United Russia Party office in the city, which were classified by the Russian court as two terroristic attacks.
On May 14, 2018, Oleg Sentsov went on a hunger strike, urging the Russian government to release 64 Ukrainian political prisoners. As reported by the Russian Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights with a reference to the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service, he has been under constant medical observation, including supporting therapy. “The facts of Sentsov’s refusal of medical care and the therapy haven’t been registered. His health condition is estimated as satisfactory,” the Council quotes the Penitentiary Service report.