FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015 file photo, Oleg Sentsov gestures as the verdict is delivered, as he stands behind bars at a court in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. The lawyer for a hunger-striking Ukrainian filmmaker imprisoned in Russia says that the health risks for Oleg Sentsov are rising as the protest enters its 75th day. (AP Photo, File)

Lawyer: Risks rise as filmmaker's hunger strike hits Day 75

July 27, 2018 - 10:25 am

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — The lawyer for a hunger-striking Ukrainian filmmaker who is imprisoned in Russia says the health risks for his client are rising as the protest enters its 75th day.

Oleg Sentsov, a vocal opponent of Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, was sentenced in 2015 to 20 years for conspiracy to commit terrorism. The 42-year-old denies the charges and has been on a hunger strike since mid-May. He also is calling for the release of 64 other Ukrainians imprisoned in Russia whom he considers political prisoners.

Lawyer Dmitry Dinze told The Associated Press on Friday that Sentsov is pale and lies down constantly because he has difficulty moving. He says "the hunger strike is continuing and with each day the risk is increasing."

"His first crisis was on the 26th day of the hunger strike and they more or less stabilized him. Now everyone is waiting for the second crisis. They say that forced feeding will begin after the second crisis," Dinze said.

The European Court of Human Rights this week urged Sentsov to end his hunger strike. Sentsov has refused to seek a presidential pardon from Vladimir Putin.

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