13 Jul 2018 10:47

Sentsov's mother asks Russian president to pardon her son

MOSCOW. July 13 (Interfax) - The mother of Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov, who was convicted in Russia, has asked President Vladimir Putin to pardon her son.

"I am asking you to pardon my son, Oleg Hennadiyevich Sentsov, born in 1976, who has been sentenced by a Russian court to 20 years in a high-security penitentiary on counts of forming a terrorist group," Liudmila Sentsova said in her letter posted on the website of the radio station Ekho Moskvy.

She said she could not judge her son's culpability and added that she knew him "as a civilian and an enthusiast of his profession of a film director."

"I will not try to convince you that Oleh is innocent although I believe this is so. I will simply tell you that he has not killed anyone. He has spent four years in prison. His children are waiting for him, and his younger son is autistic. They feel bad without him. They will never be happy without their father," the letter said.

"I am asking you, Vladimir Vladimirovich, to be merciful and pardon Oleh Sentsov. Do not ruin his life and the life of his family. We are waiting for him to come home," she said.

Sentsov is serving his sentence at the Polar Bear penitentiary in Russia's Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District.

He was arrested in Crimea in 2014. In August 2015, the North Caucasus District Court found him guilty of plotting a terror attack, and he was sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment at a high-security facility.

On May 14, 2018, Sentsov went on hunger strike to demand the release of all Ukrainians imprisoned in Russia.