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Luminato and the Toronto International Film Festival in partnership with the co-founder of Belarus Free Theatre Natalia Kaliada call on the Russian government for the immediate release of Oleg Sentsov and 70 additional Ukrainian political prisoners illegally detained in Russian prisons. 

A native of annexed Crimea, Sentsov has been incarcerated in northern Siberia since 2014 after being arrested on unsubstantiated terrorism charges and a spurious trial in which the main witness for the prosecution later recanted his testimony saying it was extracted by torture.

Statement from Luminato & the Toronto International Film Festival:

Today two of the country’s leading arts organizations join the growing calls for Russian authorities to release Oleg Sentsov and all other Ukrainian political prisoners currently detained. As organizations that vehemently believe in the right, value and necessity of artistic and political expression, Sentsov and other political prisoners have been denied their basic human rights and their detention is a serious violation of international law.  As the world’s attention turns to Russia for the World Cup, we urge the international artistic community and Canadian government to join us in calling for the immediate release of Mr. Sentsov and 70 additional Ukrainian political prisoners.

Piers Handling, CEO, Toronto International Film Festival
Josephine Ridge, Artistic Director, Luminato
Anthony Sargent CBE, CEO, Luminato