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Poland awards Ukrainian filmmaker imprisoned in Russia

Last Updated Oct 23, 2018 at 1:41 pm EST

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, left, and his Polish counterpart Jacek Czaputowicz, right, address the media in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, following talks on security and Russia's hostile activity, and announced that Poland has awarded Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, imprisoned in Russia, for his opposition to Russia's seizure of the Crimea Peninsula. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

WARSAW, Poland – Poland has honoured a Ukrainian filmmaker imprisoned in Russia on charges of plotting acts of terrorism for his defence of Ukrainians held captive in Russia.

Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said Tuesday he has bestowed the eighth annual Pro Dignitate Humana (For Human Dignity) award on Oleg Sentsov, an opponent of Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.

The 42-year-old Sentsov staged a hunger strike for 144 days to protest the incarceration of dozens of Ukrainians in Russia. He stopped when faced with the prospect of being force-fed.

Czaputowicz said Sentsov’s activity “deserves the highest respect.” He made the announcement during a news conference alongside Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin.

In 2015, Russia sentenced Sentsov to 20 years in prison on charges of conspiracy to conduct terror attacks, charges he denies.