Ukraine demands release of Balukh, Sentsov, who are on hunger strike for 188, 132 days

Ukraine demands release of Balukh, Sentsov, who are on hunger strike for 188, 132 days

The Foreign Ministry of Ukraine has once again called on Russia to release Ukrainian political prisoners Volodymyr Balukh and Oleg Sentsov, who have been on a hunger strike for 188 and 132 days.

Spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry Mariana Betsa wrote this on Twitter on September 22.

"188.132. The hunger strike of political prisoners Volodymyr Balukh and Oleg Sentsov continues. We demand once again that Russia release the political prisoners," Betsa wrote.

As Ukrinform reported, the Federal Security Service of Russia detained Volodymyr Balukh on December 8, 2016. The FSB officers claimed that they had found 90 cartridges and several TNT blocks in the attic of his house.

March 14, the Kremlin-controlled Supreme Court of Crimea changed the verdict in the case of Ukrainian activist Volodymyr Balukh. The court excluded the paragraph on purchase of ammunition from the verdict and sentenced the activist to 3 years and 5 months of imprisonment in a penal colony settlement and fined him about UAH 4,600. Balukh's defense team and human rights defenders say that he is a victim of repression for his pro-Ukrainian position – Ukraine's flag in the courtyard of his home.

Balukh went on a hunger strike on March 19, 2018. 

Sentsov was detained by Russian security services in Crimea in May 2014.

He was sentenced to 20 years in a penal colony in Russia for alleged "plotting acts of terrorism."

On May 14, 2018, he declared a hunger strike demanding the release of all Ukrainian political prisoners of the Kremlin.

According to his lawyer Dmitry Dinze, who visited the prisoner on September 7, Oleg Sentsov finds it hard to get out of bed, as his health condition has deteriorated.


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