Embassy of Ukraine in the United States of America

6, Kyiv 15:54

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine urges the Russian Federation to immediately release Oleg Sentsov and Oleksandr Kolchenko

25 August 2015, 20:12

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expresses its resolute protest over the unlawful and inhuman decision of the Russian authorities to sentence Ukrainian citizens Oleg Sentsov and Oleksandr Kolchenko, who were illegally arrested by Russian occupants in May 2014 and accused of terrorist activities, to 20 and 10 years in prison, respectively.

Oleg Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko and other citizens of Ukraine, who are illegally detained in the Russian Federation, are political prisoners and innocent victims of the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine.

The unlawful court decision, which is based on falsified investigation results that had been obtained, in particular, as a result of psychological pressure and tortures against the Ukrainian citizens, became a final confirmation that the judicial system of the Russian Federation is politically biased. The court, while fulfilling the Kremlin’s political order, fully neglected the law and, in particular, ignored evidence of innocence of the Ukrainian citizens, provided by their lawyers. This verdict shows the departure of the Russian Federation from the principle of impartiality of the investigation as well as from the universal norms in the field of human rights.

We urge the Russian side to stop the judicial farce, which mutilates human destinies for the sake of ambitions of the Russian leadership, and immediately release Oleg Sentsov and Oleksandr Kolchenko as well as other political prisoners.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine calls the international community to condemn this cynical crime against fundamental human rights and enhance political and diplomatic pressure on the Russian Federation to ensure that all citizens of Ukraine who are still illegally detained in the Russian territory be released.

The Ukrainian side will apply all efforts to set free our compatriots who are political prisoners in Russia.