Forderung nach Freilassung von Oleg Sentsov

Oleg Sentsov (Quelle: PEN International)

Am 10. Mai jährte sich die Haftstrafe von Oleg Sentsov, einem bekannten ukrainischen Schriftsteller und Filmemacher, zum dritten Mal. Sentsov wurde wegen angeblichen Terrorismus’ in einem unfairen Prozess von einem russischen Militärgericht zu 20 Jahren Gefängnis verurteilt. Sentsov sagte dabei aus, dass ihm Folter angedroht worden sei. Der internationale PEN geht davon aus, dass Oleg Sentsov für seinen Widerstand gegen die russische Annexion der Krim inhaftiert wurde und fordert deshalb die russischen Behörden auf, ihn sofort freizulassen. Sollten es Gründe für die Strafverfolgung wegen Terrorismus’ geben, so sind diese von einem Zivilgericht nach ukrainischem Recht anzuhören.

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– Fordern Sie die russischen Behörden auf, Oleg Sentsov sofort freizulassen

– Sollten es Gründe für die Strafverfolgung wegen Terrorismus’ geben, so sind diese von einem Zivilgericht nach ukrainischem Recht anzuhören, wie es das internationale humanitäre Recht verlangt. Jedes Zeugnis, das durch Folter oder andere Misshandlungen erzwungen wurde, muss vom Verfahren ausgeschlossen werden

– Fordern Sie die russischen Behörden auf, eine unabhängige und unparteiische Untersuchung der Vorwürfe von Oleg Sentsov wegen Folter und andere Misshandlungen zu veranlassen. Jeder, dem Folter nachgewiesen werden kann, muss vor Gericht gestellt werden

Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation
Yuri Yakovlevich Chaika
Prosecutor General’s Office
ul. B. Dmitrovka, d.15a
125993 Moscow GSP- 3
Russian Federation

Human Rights Ombudsman of the Russian Federation
Tatiana Nikolaevna Moskalkova
ul. Miasnitskaia, 47
107084, Moscow
Russian Federation

Hintergrund (bereitgestellt vom internationalen PEN):

Best known for his 2011 film Gamer, Ukrainian filmmaker and writer Oleg Sentsov took part in the EuroMaydan demonstrations that toppled former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014. He helped deliver food to Ukrainian soldiers following Russia’s occupation and annexation of Crimea in February-March 2014.

Oleg Sentsov said he was arrested by the Russian security services at his apartment in Crimea on 10 May 2014. He reported being subjected to a brutal three-hour ordeal involving beatings, suffocation and threatened sexual assault. To PEN International’s knowledge, his allegations have yet to be investigated by the Russian authorities.

His arrest was officially recorded on 11 May 2014 on the grounds of “suspicion of plotting terrorist acts” and membership of a terrorist group (the Ukrainian right-wing group Pravyi Sektor, Right Sector). He was taken to Russia on 23 May 2014 where he spent over a year in pre-trial detention. He was eventually charged with the establishment of a terrorist group, politically-motivated arson and conspiring to blow up a statue of Lenin, all of which he denied.

Following a trial widely condemned outside of Russia, in which a key prosecution witness retracted his statement, saying it had been extracted under torture, Oleg Sentsov was found guilty and sentenced to 20 years in prison by the military court of Rostov-on-Doon on 20 August 2015. His sentence was upheld on appeal on 24 November 2015.

In July 2016 the Russian authorities published an updated list of “terrorists and extremists” from Crimea that included Oleg Sentsov. In October 2016, they denied a request for extradition to Ukraine on the grounds that he had become a Russian citizen following Russia’s occupation and annexation of Crimea. The Ukrainian authorities are still prevented by their Russian counterparts from contacting Oleg Sentsov.

PEN International denounces serious flaws in judicial proceedings against Oleg Sentsov, including his lengthy pre-trial detention, the failure to investigate his allegations of torture as well as the fact that he is being held in Russia. Under international law, Crimea constitutes occupied territory and as the occupying power, Russia is obliged not to transfer civilian prisoners out of the territory. Trying civilians in military courts also violates international human rights norms.

In April 2015, the United Nations Human Rights Committee expressed concerns at “allegations that Oleg Sentsov has been deprived against his will of his Ukrainian nationality, tried in Moscow as a citizen of the Russian Federation and subject to legal proceedings that fail to meet the requirements of Articles 9 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights”.  It called on the Russian authorities to investigate all allegations of serious human rights violations and to ensure that appropriate and transparent procedures are in place for Crimean residents to revisit their decision concerning their nationality.

Oleg Sentsov is the winner of the 2017 PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award. His cousin Natalya Kaplan, who accepted the award on his behalf, stressed that “Oleg is but one of 44 Ukrainian prisoners who are incarcerated in Russia today. He is very concerned for his fellow political prisoners. He asks that, when you speak of him, you don’t forget the others.”

Freedom of expression in Crimea

Since the Russian occupation and annexation of Crimea in February-March 2014, most opponents of the annexation have been harassed into exile or silenced, while media freedom in Crimea has been severely restricted.  The Russian authorities have also introduced Article 280.1 to the Russian Penal Code, which penalises anyone making public calls that “harm the territorial integrity of Russia” with up to five years in prison. Several people have been sentenced in Russia in relation to material posted online. Most charges pertained to remarks about Crimea being part of Ukraine.

On 19 December 2016, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 71/205 on the “situation of human rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol”. The resolution refers to Crimea being under the “temporary occupation” of the Russian Federation, reaffirms the non-recognition of its “annexation”, and affirms the applicability of the Geneva Conventions. It further calls on the Russian Federation “as an occupying power” to bring an immediate end to “all the abuses against residents of Crimea,” and to ensure proper and unimpeded access to the peninsula.

For further details contact Aurélia Dondo at PEN International, Koops Mill, 162-164 Abbey Street, London, SE1 2AN, UK Tel: +44 (0) 20 7405 0338 Fax  +44 (0) 20 7405 0339 e-mail: Aurelia.dondo [at] pen-international [dot] org