Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia: Russia refuses to extradite Ukrainian film director
Politics12:45 Oct. 21, 2016

Russia refuses to extradite Ukrainian film director

Oleh Sentsov is a Russian citizen according to Justice Ministry of Russia

Russian authorities are refusing to transfer Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, sentenced to 20 years behind bars for planning terror attacks in his native Crimea.

Russia has rejected Ukraine's appeal for extradition, Ukraine's Deputy Justice Minister of Ukraine Serhiy Petukhov reported on Friday.

He also published a photo of the official response sent to Ukraine by Russian Ministry of Justice.

The document states that extradition of Sentsov to Ukraine is impossible due to the fact that "he is a Russian citizen."

In August 2015, Sentsov was sentenced to 20 years in prison in a sham trial that was deplored by many as a "farce". Sentsov was found guilty of creation of a terrorist organisation, planning to carry out terrorist attacks in Crimea, illegal possession and attempt to traffic arms.

His co-defendant, another Crimean activist Oleksandr Kolchenko, received a 10-year sentence. Both denied the charges as totally fabricated.

After the forcible annexation of Crimea, Russia had automatically changed their citizenship into Russian, but the political prisoners did not get Russian passports and insisted on considering them the citizens of Ukraine.

In April this year Russia's High Commissioner for Human Rights Ella Pamfilova has confirmed the Ukrainian citizenship of Oleh Sentsov and Oleksandr Kolchenko, the former residents of Crimea.

The ombudswoman insisted on Sentsov and Kolchenko's staying Ukrainian citizens "whether or not they have Russian citizenship, which they hypothetically acquired" after Crimea occupation.

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