Ukrainian director arrested by Russian Secret Service
Oleg Sentsov has been allegedly “kidnapped” by the FSB.
Ukrainian film-maker and Euromaidan activist Oleg Sentsov, director of the film Gamer, has been allegedly “kidnapped” by the Russian Security Service FSB and accused of organising a terrorist attack.
It was reported by Ukrainian journalist Ekaterina Sergatskova.
The National Filmmakers Union of Ukraine reported that attempts to find out what happened to Sentsov since his arrest in his home town of Simferopol on the Crimean peninsula last week have been in vain.
“They [the FSB] neither confirmed nor denied his arrest, and said that any information can only be provided to close relatives,” the Filmmakers Union said.
The Ministry of Culture of Ukraine also expressed its concern and published a letter of protest against the FSB’s actions towards Ukrainians and sent it to a number of international human rights organisations.
Sentsov is reportedly going to be defended by the lawyer Dmitry Dinze, who worked on the case of Pussy Riot and Bolotnaya Prisoners, and said that the film-maker was in a temporary detention centre of the FSB in Crimea and would be moved to the Lefortovo prison in Moscow [this weekend].
Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, Mathias Rust and Raoul Wallenberg were among the previous detainees at this facility.
According to the Ukrainian film community, the detention of Sentsov is part of the campaign organized in the Crimea against those who disagree with Russian policy.
A campaign has now been launched to attract international support to secure the release of Sentsov.
Sentsov’s debut Gamer had its world premiere in Rotterdam’s Bright Future sidebar in 2012, and he had successfully pitched his next feature project Rhino at the co-production markets in Odessa, Sofia and Cottbus.
Germany’s Neue Mediopolis Film had come onboard the CryCinema project of Rhino as a co-producer along with France’s Arizona Films and the Czech Republic’s 8Heads.