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Published in Stream:
Ukraine Liveblog Day 224
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Ukrainian Director Sentsov's Pre-Trial Detention Extended Until January 11
7 years
Report Says Snipers Kill 3 Civilians In Uglegorsk, Shelling Continues In Debaltsevo
Russian Investigative Committee Opens Criminal Proceedings On 'Genocide' In Ukraine

RFE/RL reports that OIeh Sentsov, a Ukrainian film director who was arrested by the occupying Russian authorities in Crimea in May, has had his pre-trial detention extended until January 11 by the Lefortovo District Court in Moscow.

Sentsov was arrested along with three other Ukrainian citizens on suspicion of "planning terrorist attacks" on bridges, power lines and public monuments in Simferopol, Yalta and Sevastopol.

On June 26, RFE/RL reported on the opposition to Sentsov's arrest, with many regarding him as a political prisoner:

Even Russia's own presidential council for human rights has appealed to Deputy Prosecutor General Viktor Grin to review the circumstances surrounding the arrests of Sentsov and a fellow Ukrainian activist, ecologist Oleksandr Kolchenko. A reply, posted on June 26 on the council's website, says prosecutors found "no grounds" for altering the detention of either suspect. 

Russia has sought to bolster its case against Sentsov by accusing him of membership in Ukraine's nationalist paramilitary group, Right Sector -- a claim that both Sentsov and Right Sector deny. Prosecutors also say that Sentsov has confessed to the terrorist plots. But the filmmaker and his lawyer, Dmitry Dinze -- who defended Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina -- say Sentsov was beaten and threatened with rape to force him to confess. 

Amnesty International this week called on Russian authorities to investigate Sentsov's allegations of ill-treatment and to return the Ukrainian detainees to Crimea. 

Memorial head Aleksandr Cherkasov calls Sentsov a "political prisoner."

"Yes, he's a Maidan activist and he did a lot in Crimea -- for example, he helped Ukrainian soldiers get out of there safely," Cherkasov said. "But the circumstances surrounding the accusations against him suggest they might be fabricated.