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EU nominates Sentsov for Sakharov prize as part of anti-Russian policy, says senator

October 10, 21:55 UTC+3 BRUSSELS

On October 9, the European Parliament selected three nominees for the 2018 Sakharov Prize

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BRUSSELS, October 10. /TASS/. The European Parliament nominated jailed Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov for the Sakharov prize as another anti-Russian gesture, Chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s (upper house of parliament) Media Policy Commission Alexei Pushkov told reporters in Brussels, where he participated in a round table on the conflict in eastern Ukraine in the European Parliament.

"The European Parliament, as well as PACE, accept predominantly anti-Russian resolutions. I see politics in this, and I don’t see any achievements by Sentsov in the human rights area. I think that this choice is completely politicized. Has anyone even heard of Sentsov as a human rights activist before he found himself in jail?" Pushkov said.

"The man was put behind bars for plotting terror attacks, and suddenly he becomes a human rights activist. There are many people, both in the European Parliament and PACE, who find the geopolitical criteria for supporting Ukraine more important than the principles of the rule of law. Just remember the hysterical support of [Nadezhda] Savchenko by the West. And now that Savchenko is sitting in a Ukrainian jail, no one is protecting her," he noted.

On October 9, the European Parliament selected three nominees for the 2018 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought: non-governmental organizations protecting the rights and saving the lives of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea, Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov and Moroccan political activist Nasser Zefzafi.

In late August 2015, Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, best known for his 2011 film Gamer, was found guilty of terrorism in Russia. The North Caucasus District Military Court sentenced him to 20 years behind bars on charges of setting up a terrorist cell in Crimea and plotting terror attacks. In the spring of 2014, the group’s members carried out two terror attacks in Simferopol: they set on fire the offices of Crimea’s Russian Community non-governmental organization and a regional office of the United Russia party.

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