Oleg Sentsov sentenced to 20 years

Film director is convicted of plotting terrorist acts.

by Jennie Kermode

Oleg Sentsov, the Ukranian film director behind Gámer, was today sentenced to 20 years in prison after a military court in Rostov-on-Don convicted him of plotting to commit terrorist acts in Crimea. He has already served over a year in Lefortovo prison after being detained following a protest against the Russian presence in the region.

Sentsov's arrest prompted an international campaign spearheaded by filmmakers like Mike Leigh, Pedro Almodóvar, Agnieszka Holland and Stephen Daldry, who were convinced that it was politically motivated. The Ukrainian government has argued that he is being punished for his pro-Ukraine views. Setsove himself has refused to recognise the authority of the court and has alleged that he was beaten and threatened with rape in an attempt to make him confess to a plot to bomb war memorials and set fire to government buildings.

The official convictions were for terrorism, organising a terrorist group and arms trafficking. Sentsov has admitted taking food to embedded Ukranian soldiers, which is not against the law.

David Lidington, the UK Minister for Europe, has expressed concern about the verdict, which has been condemned by Amnesty International.

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