Film academy welcomes release of Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov

Sentsov was released by the Russian on Saturday after spending years behind bars. /PAP/EPA

The president of the Polish Film Academy has welcomed the release of the Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov by the Russian authorities.

Sentsov, who was imprisoned by the Russians for alleged terrorist offences, was released on Saturday as part of a prisoner exchange. The director had been arrested in 2014 at his home in Russian-occupied Crimea.

His imprisonment on what many considered to be phony charges caused an international outcry.PAP/EPA

“On behalf of the Polish Film Academy, I would like to thank the film community of the entire world and all people of good will who have not ceased to peacefully fight for his release,” said Dariusz Jabłoński, president of the Polish Film Academy.

Agnieszka Holland joined the protests to get him released.PAP/EPA

“International solidarity has saved Oleg and allows us to believe that together we will defend our better world,” he continued. “As you know the famous Solidarity leader Lech Walesa nominated Oleg for the Nobel Peace Prize. Let’s make a big effort from today to help him get it! Let's carry on with all the good work Oleg's imprisonment started.”

“On behalf of the Polish Film Academy, I would like to thank the film community,” said Jabłonski.Rafał Guz/PAP

Sentsov’s plight triggered an international outcry with organisations such as Amnesty International campaigning for his release.