Acclaimed director Jean-Luc Godard has declined an invitation to visit Saint Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum because of the detention of Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, Le Figaro reported.
“Thank you for your invitation, but given the condition of Sentsov’s detention, I do not feel that I can visit the Hermitage (Museum of St. Petersburg) for the moment, regardless of my friendship for the people,” wrote Jean-Luc Godard in the letter to Dimitri Ozerkov, director of the contemporary art department of the Hermitage Museum, who invited him to St. Petersburg.
The 87-year-old director of Breathlessness and Despair adds “stay tuned to the evolution of events.”
A group of artists and intellectuals from around the world, including filmmakers Jean-Luc Godard, Wim Wenders and Aki Kaurismaki, recently urged democracies in an open letter to obtain from Russian President Vladimir Putin the release of filmmaker Oleg Sentsov.
- Read more: Dozens of cultural actors in France appeal to free Sentsov and all Ukrainian political prisoners
- Read also: French celebrities launch chain hunger strike in support of Oleg Sentsov and other Ukrainian political prisoners of the Kremlin
Both Afanasiev and Chirniy have stated they were tortured by FSB, and after their “confessions” were sentenced to the least possible punishment for terrorism, 7 years of jail, whereas Sentsov, the “leader” of the “terrorist group,” was sentenced to 20 years and Kolchenko to 10 years. On 31 July 2015 Afanasyev retracted his testimony as given under duress. After that, he was beaten again in prison. Sentsov and Kolchenko have stated repeatedly that they were tortured and beaten, and there is nothing to assume that the same didn’t happen to Chirniy.