Video: EU parliament awards prize to Oleg Sentsov Ukrainian filmmaker jailed in Russia.

The European Parliament has awarded its annual Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian film-maker jailed in Russia.

EU lawmakers said they supported his protests against the 2014 Russian annexation of Sentsov’s native Ukraine. Now aged 42, he was jailed for 20 years on terrorism charges he says are politically motivated. He staged a long hunger strike this year.

The Sakharov Prize is named after Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, a nuclear physicist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975 for his efforts to stand up for civil rights.

Parliament President Antonio Tajani told the legislature in Strasbourg that the award recognised Sentsov’s courage. Saying he was in poor health after his hunger strike, Tajani added: “We call upon the authorities to release him immediately.

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Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright is publishing editor of EU Today. 

An experienced journalist and published author, he specialises in environment, energy, and defence.

He also has more than 10 years experience of working as a staff member in the EU institutions, working with political groups and MEPs in various policy areas.

Gary's latest book WANTED MAN: THE STORY OF MUKHTAR ABLYAZOV: A Manual for Criminals on How to Avoid Punishment in the EU is currently available from Amazon

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