Sakharov Prize: MEPs to exchange views with Oleg Sentsov
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Sakharov Prize: MEPs to exchange views with Oleg Sentsov

MEPs will hold a debate with last year’s Sakharov Prize laureate, Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov, in Strasbourg on Monday 25 November at 19.00.

Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov was last year’s Sakharov Prize laureate. Until recently, he was serving a 20-year prison sentence in Russia for “plotting terrorist acts” against the Russian de facto rule in Crimea. He was released on 9 September following a prisoner swap between Russia and Ukraine.

Because of his release, Parliament will hold an award ceremony in the Strasbourg hemicycle on Tuesday, 26 November, from 12.00 to 12.30 CET, to finally be able to hand Mr Sentsov his Sakharov Prize in person. Last year, while still in prison in Russia, he was represented by his cousin Natalya Kaplan.

Before Tuesday’s ceremony, Mr Sentsov will also meet and exchange views with MEPs in Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Development Committee and Subcommittee on Human Rights, on Monday at 19.00 – 20.30 CET. The meeting will be live streamed and you can watch it here.

WHEN: Monday 25 November, 19.00 – 20.30 CET.

WHERE: European Parliament’s Winston Churchill building in Strasbourg, room 200 (meeting with MEPs).

Here is the meeting agenda.

Background

The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is awarded each year by the European Parliament. It was set up in 1988 to honour individuals and organisations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms.

It is named in honour of Soviet physicist and political dissident Andrei Sakharov and the prize money is 50 000 euros.

The 2019 Sakharov Prize laureate is imprisoned Uyghur economist and human rights activist Ilham Tohti.