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Sentsov to end hunger strike as of 6 October - lawyer

Sentsov to end hunger strike as of 6 October - lawyer
Photo: Yamal-Nenets penitentiary service

Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, who has been serving his 20-year term on made-up charges in a Russian penal colony, has announced the end of hunger strike as of 6 October because of possible forced feeding.

"They plan to resort to forced feeding soon because of the critical state of my health, as well as the pathological changes in the inward parts of the body that have begun. But my opinion is not taken into account. Allegedly, I am no longer able to adequately assess the state of health and potential threats. Forced feeding will be part of resuscitation measures to save the patient's life. Under such conditions, I'll have to stop my hunger strike from tomorrow, 6 October 2018," Sentsov said in a statement he sent to his lawyer, Dmitriy Dinze, Russia's Novaya Gazeta newspaper wrote.

Sentsov begun his hunger strike on 14 May 2018, demanding that Russia free all Ukrainian political prisoners.

"The 145-day struggle, minus 20 kg of weight, the damaged body, but the goal has not been achieved. I am grateful to everyone who has supported me, and I apologize to those whom I have let down ... Glory to Ukraine! Oleh Sentsov. 5 October 2018," the statement said.

As reported earlier, Sentsov was arrested in Russia-occupied Crimea in spring 2014 and in August 2015 he was sentenced to 20 years in prison following an unfair trial where he faced "terrorism" charges stemming from his opposition to Russia's occupation of Crimea.

He has been serving his term in a penal colony in the town of Labytnangi, Russia's Yamal.

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