NEW YORK (AP) - Margaret Atwood, Stephen Sondheim and Patrick Stewart are among dozens of artists and journalists calling for the release of Ukrainian filmmaker and dissident Oleg Sentsov[1].

Sentsov[2], a critic of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, is serving a 20-year term on terrorism charges. Sentsov[3], 41, has been on a hunger strike for three weeks, demanding the release of 64 Ukrainian political prisoners. He is not calling for his own release.

In a letter released Monday through PEN America, the artists called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to free Sentsov[4]. They wrote that the upcoming World Cup games in Russia would heighten scrutiny of the country’s human rights abuses. Freeing Sentsov[5] would make a “powerful statement,” they wrote.

Others signing the letter include Christiane Amanpour, John Green and Jonathan Franzen.

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