Protesters call for Sentsov’s release outside Russian embassy in Prague
Dozens of people gathered outside the Russian embassy in Prague on Tuesday to demand the release of jailed Ukrainian film maker Oleg Sentsov and other prisoners of conscience. The gathering lasted exactly 107 minutes, symbolizing the 107 days that Sentsov has been on a hunger strike in a Siberian prison.
His deteriorating health has raised concern for his fate and that of other political prisoners held in Russia the world over. Members of the art and film world have been particularly active in drawing attention to his plight. On the 100th day of Sentsov’s hunger strike Czech film makers launched a chain hunger strike in support of his release. Originally it was to have been a week-long protest by film director Radim Špaček and six other colleagues from the film world, but more and more people have asked to join in the fast. Radim Špaček says Sentsov’s state of health gives reason for extreme concern.
“There have been proclamations and calls for Sentsov’s release the world over, from film director Agnieszka Holland and many other renowned directors, actors and producers –all to no avail. So this is a last-ditch attempt to draw attention to Sentsov’s plight.”
Radim Špaček is calling on Czech politicians, particularly on President Miloš Zeman, to use what influence they have to try to secure Sentsov’s release before it is too late.
Tuesday’s gathering outside the Russian embassy in Prague – at which around 60 demonstrators stood in a silent protest holding up Sentsov’s photo – took place before midday and was timed to end precisely at five minutes to twelve – a time symbolizing the growing urgency of the case.