Jailed Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov wins EU rights award

October 25, 2018 - 5:07 am

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has awarded its human rights prize to Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian filmmaker imprisoned in Russia accused of plotting acts of terrorism.

Lawmakers from the biggest bloc in the European Parliament welcomed the decision, taken Thursday in Strasbourg, France.

Sentsov was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2015 for conspiring to commit acts of terrorism, charges he denies. He has been one of the most vocal opponents of Russia's annexation in 2014 of his native Crimea region of Ukraine. 

The 42-year-old Sentsov staged a hunger strike for 144 days to protest the incarceration of dozens of Ukrainians in Russia. He ended it earlier this month, faced the prospect of being force-fed. 

The Sakharov Prize will be presented in a ceremony in Strasbourg on Dec. 12.

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