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Envoy: Filmmaker on hunger strike has heart, kidney problems

Last Updated Jun 21, 2018 at 12:40 pm EDT

FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015 file photo, Oleg Sentsov gestures as the verdict is delivered, as he stands behind bars at a court in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. A state news agency is quoting a Russian human rights official as saying that jailed Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov is in satisfactory condition despite a month-long hunger strike, it was reported on Thursday, June 21, 2018. (AP Photo, file)

MOSCOW – Ukraine’s human rights envoy said Thursday that jailed Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov has heart and kidney problems after a hunger strike lasting more than a month.

Lyudmila Denisova said on Facebook that she spoke to Sentsov’s Russian lawyer who visited him Thursday and said that he was at a prison hospital with an unspecified heart and kidney condition.

She said she learned from the lawyer that Sentsov was drinking some 3.5 litres of water a day and was also taking another 2 litres of liquid daily through IV.

Denisova said that Sentsov had a crisis on the 26th day of his hunger strike and was taken to a hospital, where doctors proposed to force-feed him, but he refused.

Sentsov’s lawyer couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Sentsov, a vocal opponent of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, has been refusing food since mid-May. He was sentenced in 2015 to 20 years for conspiracy to commit terror acts. He rejected the verdict as politically motivated, and politicians and public figures in the West and in Russia have called for his release.

According to the state RIA-Novosti news agency, Anatoliy Sak, a human rights official in the Siberian region where Sentsov is serving time, said Thursday he visited him recently and said that the filmmaker looked fine, was alert and communicated easily.