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Council of Europe asks Russia to release jailed filmmaker

Last Updated Jun 20, 2018 at 2:00 pm EST

MOSCOW – The head of Europe’s human rights body is calling on Russia to release an imprisoned Ukrainian filmmaker who has been on hunger strike for a month.

Thorbjorn Jagland, secretary of the Council of Europe, met Wednesday with Russian human rights commissioner Tatiana Moskalkova and said Oleg Sentsov “should be released on humanitarian grounds,” the Interfax news agency reported.

Sentsov, a vocal opponent of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, was sentenced in 2015 to 20 years for conspiracy to commit terror acts. He went on hunger strike in mid-May.

Separately Wednesday, Sentsov’s lawyers said the European Court of Human Rights had called on Sentsov to end his hunger strike and for Russia to provide details by June 27 about his condition and how his rights are being ensured.