A silent public gathering will take place to support imprisoned Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov. Organised by the Slovakia and Czech Republic for Oleg Sentsov platform and the Nie Je Nám to Jedno (We Do Care) initiative, it will take place on September 19 at 18:00 in the Main Square in Bratislava.
The participants want to show that they care about human rights, that as members of the EU they advocate democratic values, which are suppressed in Russia by Vladimir Putin's regime, and that they demand a clearly formulated approach and attitude of Slovakia in this matter, reads the press release sent to the media.
With the gathering, Slovakia joins the world-wide campaign that intensively monitors Sentsov’s case. The filmmaker and father of two was sentenced to 20 years in prison for alleged terrorism. He has been on hunger strike for more than four months.Slovak personalities demand freedom for Oleh Sentsov Read more
“We say Oleg Sentsov – and we mean all Ukrainian citizens imprisoned by the Russian Federation,” said Ľudmila Verbická, founder of the Ukrainian-Slovak Initiative, as quoted in the press release. “The Kremlin regime decided to take their homeland, citizenship, freedom. Sentsov is a symbol of courage and persistence in the fight for freedom, a country’s independence, the lives and freedom of his fellow citizens, being a person.”
MEPs support the campaign
The gathering will be accompanied by a banner with a collage of pictures depicting personalities participating in the #FreeOlegSentsov campaign. It was launched on August 23, and nearly 60 personalities from public and cultural life have taken part so far.
They all call on politicians to be active in the case and take the side of democratic countries’ values. They also call on people not to support Putin’s politics by being indifferent, the press release reads.
The campaign has already been supported by Slovak MEPs, and the topic is being discussed in the European Parliament, according to the press release.
At the same time, the Slovakia and Czech Republic for Oleg Sentsov platform has sent an open letter to President Andrej Kiska, Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák and Speaker of Parliament Andrej Danko. It has been signed by more than 2,800 people on the internet.