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Ukraine Demands Access To Imprisoned Film Director Sentsov

A photo released by the Russian penitentiary service on September 28 showed imprisoned Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov being medically examined.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has demanded access to Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, who has been on hunger strike in a Russian prison for more than four months.

In a tweet on September 29, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mariana Betsa called for Ukrainian officials and doctors to be allowed to visit Sentsov.

Russia's penitentiary service said on September 28 that an unspecified "correction" in Sentsov's treatment had been ordered. It later published a photo of him being examined with a stethoscope.

Sentsov, a Crimean native who opposed Russia's 2014 seizure of the Ukrainian peninsula, is serving a 20-year prison term after being convicted of terrorism in a trial that he, human rights groups, and Western governments contend was politically motivated.

Imprisoned in Russia’s far-northern Yamalo-Nenets region, Sentsov started a hunger strike on May 14, demanding that Russia release 64 fellow Ukrainians he considers political prisoners.

Sentsov has refused to seek a pardon from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Earlier this month, Human Rights Watch said, citing a lawyer for Sentsov, that he agreed to begin taking an oral nutritional supplement at some point in the past two months, after suffering his first health crisis.

Ambassadors from the Group of Seven (G7) leading industrialized nations as well as major figures from the world of cinema, including director Jean-Luc Godard and actor Johnny Depp, have all called for Sentsov's release.

During the Venice film festival earlier this month, Hollywood stars urged Moscow not to let him die, and leading figures in the Russian film industry have also called for his release.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP