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May 02
2017

Meryl Streep, has called for the freeing of Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian filmmaker sentenced to 20 years in jail after being subjected to a sham trial in Russia. Streep was pictured alongside Ukrainian lawmaker Mustafa Nayyem with a “Free Sentsov” sign in a photograph taken during the PEN America Annual Literary Gala on April 25, at which Sentsov was honoured with a 2017 PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write award. Nayyem, who posted the photograph on his Facebook account on April 30, said that the actress was genuinely interested in Sentsov’s case, and eager to help. “She was already aware of the fact that one of the nominees is an imprisoned filmmaker, but didn’t know (Sentsov’s) entire story,” Nayyem wrote, “I told her about the case, (Sentsov’s) family, Crimea, (Russian) nationality being forced upon him, and his two children stuck in the annexed territory.” Nayyem said that Streep asked him how she could help, which is when the lawmaker told her about the Pen America campaign for freeing Sentsov and suggested they take a photograph with a “Free Sentsov” sign to raise awareness. “She agreed without hesitating,” Nayyem says, adding that she also asked Nayyem to be in the photograph too. “Who will believe that I came up with this sign myself?” Nayyem quoted Streep as saying.The complete article can be read over at Kyiv Post, with many thanks to Glenn for the heads-up.

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