Oleg Sentsov thanks activists from Amnesty International for their letters of support

Film director Oleg Sentsov, who was released on the 7th of September as part of a prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Russia, has thanked activists from Amnesty International for writing letters of support during his time in the remand centre and the penal colony.  Sentsov, who was arrested in 2014 and whose release was achieved through the many efforts of Amnesty International and other human rights organisations, gave a press conference alongside Alexander Kolchenko in Kiev on Tuesday.

“Of course, I received many letters from Amnesty International. Thank you very much”, said Sentsov. According to him, the activists from Amnesty have contributed greatly to the international campaign for his release.

“For any prisoner, regardless of whether he is a political prisoner, regardless of whether he is Ukrainian or Kazakh, regardless of anything, really, it is just so important to receive letters while in prison. It’s the most important thing. Even when you haven’t eaten for a whole day, when you haven’t received any parcels, or when they have done something to you, you still wait and hope for letters. So, please, write, write, write! About anything! It is really supportive”, said Sentsov.

According to Sentsov, many people wrote to him and he tried his best to reply to all of them.

I brought two bags. The second contained 22kg of paper, mostly letters. I did not throw a single one out. I brought them all and kept them, as they are so dear to me. There are books, notebooks, a big pack, 15 of them. They are completely filled with writing
Oleg Sentsov

He reminds us that due to the laws of the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service, only letters in Russian are permitted, though in some cases he received letters in Ukrainian. Letters that are written in other languages are initially collected by a censor, and only after are they given to him.

Amnesty International would like to point out that we are writing letters to support the family of the Crimean prisoner of conscience Emir Usein Kuku.

We are also running a solidarity campaign for Vladislava Shevchenko, the daughter of prisoner of conscience Anastasia Shevchenko who has been placed under house arrest. We are also running a solidarity campaign for the prisoners of conscience Yan Sidorov and Vladislav Mordasov, who are awaiting the verdict of a fabricated case regarding their supposed organisation of ‘mass disturbances’. 

You can join our campaigns and write letters to support these prisoners of conscience and their families.

To support the wife of Emir-Usenin Kuku, Meriem, please write to:
Moscow 119019, PO Box 212 for Meriem Kuku

To support Anastasia Shevchenko’s daughter, Vladislava, please write to:
Moscow 119019, PO Box 212 for Vladislava Shevchenko

To support Yan Sidorov, please write to:
Rostov–on–Don 344022, Maksima Gorkogo, 219. Directorate of the Federal Penitentiary Service. Remand Centre No. 1 of Rostov Oblast for Sidorov Yan Vladimirovich, born 1999.

To support Vladislav Mordasov, please write to:
Rostov–on–Don 344022, Maksima Gorkogo, 219. Directorate of the Federal Penitentiary Service. Remand Centre No. 1 of Rostov Oblast for Mordasov Vladislav Evgenyevich, born 1996.