This is an open letter to the Ukrainian filmmaker unjustly imprisoned by Putin. His plight must be known, to save his life
Dear Oleg Gennadyevich Sentsov, you must feel very lonely, way out in the Labytnangi penal colony, the northernmost one in Russia, so far from Ukraine and from your loved ones. I am writing to you – without knowing if this letter will ever reach you – to let you know that, in thought at least, you are not alone: throughout the world a great many people – filmmakers like you, writers, journalists, activists and simple citizens – are thinking of you, supporting you, and wishing with all their hearts soon to see you free.
It has now been 82 days since you began your hunger strike. You have done so to protest against not only the injustice of your own detention, but also that of 65 of your fellow Ukrainians, imprisoned like you in jails throughout Russia on the flimsiest of charges. This gesture of yours, starving yourself to death, is one of the most violent forms of protest anyone can undertake. In your case, all the more so as you have two children waiting for you in Crimea (where you were arrested), who have been left with only their grandmother after their mother, your wife, was forced to flee to Ukraine. One can only imagine their fear, their anguish, their desperate clinging to the slightest shred of hope. Yet no matter what, your decision to embark on this hunger strike is fully justified.