The Irkutsk region’s Public Supervising Commission (PSC) has found out that Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, who was sentenced in Russia to 20 years in a high security penitentiary for terrorism in 2015, is currently held in the SIZO No 1 remand prison in Irkutsk, the regional Rights Activists Council said on its website.
“On Saturday, Irkutsk PSC members found Oleh Sentsov, who had been transferred from a penitentiary in Yakutsk [where he was serving his term] a week ago, staying at SIZO No 1 in Irkutsk,” the rights organizations said in a statement.
The PSC representatives were able to visit Sentsov and inspect his solitary cell in the remand prison’s so-called “red” block, the one lined with red brick.
“The conditions in the cell are good. The cell has recently been repaired. It is clean and dry. Oleh [Sentsov] is well. He is smiling and sending regards to everyone,” the statement said.
Sentsov is not aware of the reason why he has been transferred from a penal colony in Yakutia to the remand prison in Irkutsk, it said.
It is most likely that the authorities have decided to change Sentsov’s place of detention, Irkutsk rights activist Svyatoslav Khromenkov told Interfax.
“Normally, the transfer of a prisoner from a penal colony to a SIZO [remand prison] is attributable to some investigatory actions taking place: for example, he [the prisoner] is a witness or defendant in another criminal case. But as for Sentsov, I’d rather suppose that they have decided to change his place of detention – to transfer him to another penal colony, and the SIZO in Irkutsk is just one of the [transfer] stages here,” Khromenkov said.
As reported earlier, Russia’s North Caucasus District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don in 2015 sentenced Sentsov, who had been arrested in Crimea in 2014, to 20 years in a high security penal colony on charges of establishing a terrorist community in the Crimean Peninsula.