Russia under fire over jailed Ukraine filmmaker at European court

Strasbourg (France) (AFP) –


Ukraine has made a new application against Moscow at the European Court of Human Rights over the detention of hunger-striking film director Oleg Sentsov and dozens of other Ukranians jailed in Russia, the ECHR said Monday.

The Ukranian government lodged the "inter-state" application on August 11 highlighting the fate of Sentsov, who last week passed 100 days of a hunger strike.

Kiev alleges Moscow is violating numerous articles of the European Convention on Human Rights including a ban on torture and inhuman or degrading treatment, the right to a fair trial, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of expression and assembly, an ECHR statement said.

Arguably Russia's most prominent prisoner, Senstov, 42, was arrested in Crimea after Moscow's 2014 annexation of the peninsula and has been languishing in a Russian Arctic prison with little hope of release.

He was jailed for 20 years for terrorism and arms trafficking after a trial denounced as "Stalinist" by Amnesty International,

Sentsov launched his hunger strike on May 14 demanding the release of all Ukrainian political prisoners held in Russia.

International calls for his release have grown as his health has reportedly deteriorated and in late July the European court urged Moscow to provide him with "appropriate treatment".

Since 2014 six other inter-state applications have been lodged by Ukraine against Russia. Four were linked to the Crimea annexation and have been sent to the court's Grand Chamber which deals with major cases.

Also, more than 4,000 individual applications that have been made over Crimea and hostilities in eastern Ukraine are before the Strasbourg-based ECHR, the statement said.

Recourse to inter-state applications under which one state accuses another is rare with only about 15 registered in the last 50 years.