PACE President deplores sentencing in Russia of Sentsov and Kolchenko

“The sentencing of Oleg Sentsov and Oleksandr Kolchenko on charges of terrorism, respectively to 20 and 10 years in prison, appears to be manifestly excessive and raises concerns about respect for the standards of the European Convention on Human Rights in the legal proceedings against them, especially in the context of the deterioration of the human rights situation in Crimea since its illegal annexation by the Russian Federation,” said the President.

“In Resolution 2063 (2015) the Assembly called on the Russian authorities to ‘reverse the illegal annexation of Crimea’ as well as to ‘release all captives, in particular civilians and including captives held in the Russian Federation’. Today’s Court decision is in manifest contradiction with these demands. Therefore, I urge once again the Russian authorities to live up to their commitments as a member state of the Council of Europe and release all persons illegally detained following the annexation of Crimea.”