Ukrainian Canadian Congress, media release
Lt. Nadiya Savchenko, a Ukrainian air force pilot was abducted by Kremlin-backed terrorists in Luhansk oblast in eastern Ukraine in June 2014. She was illegally removed from Ukrainian territory to the Russian Federation, where she continues to be illegally imprisoned by the Russian Federation.
Savchenko’s detention is a flagrant violation of her basic human rights and Russia’s international commitments. She is a victim of Russia’s war against Ukraine and a political prisoner who must be immediately released by the Russian Federation. The Russian Federation is currently illegally detaining other Ukrainian citizens, in violation of their rights, for example filmmaker Oleh Sentsov. All Ukrainian citizens illegally detained by the Russian Federation must be immediately released.
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress supports the Call for Action issued by the World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations and the Ukrainian World Congress in support of Nadiya Savchenko to hold rallies and protests on January 26, 2015.
In June 2014, Lt. Savchenko was captured by armed terrorists backed by the Russian Federation in Luhansk Oblast, Ukraine;
She was then violently and forcibly removed from the territory of Ukraine to the Russian Federation;
On 9 July 2014, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation announced that charges have been laid against Savchenko for alleged complicity in the group killing of two or more people carrying out official activities in a publicly hazardous manner for motives of political hatred” (under Article 33, part 5 and Article 105, part 2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation);
Since her illegal detention, Savchenko has been sent for forced psychiatric evaluations, and it has been difficult for her to secure meetings with lawyers, her family, and representatives of Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
On 26 October 2014, Savchenko was elected a Member of Ukraine’s Parliament; Ukraine’s Parliament subsequently elected Savchenko a delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe;
On 13 December 2014, Savchenko began a hunger strike in protest of her illegal detention;
In early January 2015, it was reported that Savchenko was moved to solitary confinement;
On 9 January, US State Department spokesperson J. Psaki stated, “We’re deeply concerned by reports that Russia has moved Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko to solitary confinement. We call for her immediate release as well as other Ukrainian hostages held by Russia.”
European Parliament, Amnesty International and other international organizations have called on Russia to release Savchenko;
On 12 January, 2015, she stated in a letter that her spirit will not be broken and that she will not end her hunger strike, “Until the day I return to Ukraine or until the last day of my life in Russia.”
Halya Coynash, of the authoritative Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, stated in a petition to PACE President Anne Brasseur, “The investigators have provided no evidence to back the charges laid against her of implication in the deaths of a Russian journalist and sound engineer who died on June 17 after being caught in shellfire while travelling close to militants of the self-proclaimed Luhansk people’s republic. The defence, in contrast, have unassailable evidence which demonstrates that Ms Savchenko was nowhere near the place where the two Russians were killed.
On 16 January, PACE President Anne Brasseur stated that one of the elements of the Minsk Agreements (September 2014), to which the Russian Federation is a signatory, was the immediate release of all hostages and illegally held persons. “I call for their immediate release, and amongst these persons I include the pilot Nadiya Savchenko, who is currently held by the Russian authorities. Ms Savchenko has now been appointed to the Ukrainian delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly and there are many grounds for her release, not least humanitarian, as her health continues to deteriorate as a result of her hunger strike.”
On 20 January, 2015, Nadiya Savchenko’s sister, Vera, was finally allowed to see her sister. After meeting with Nadiya, Vera stated, “She’s gotten very thin. But she is not going to stop her hunger strike. She will stop it only on the territory of Ukraine, or, when she will be freed.” Savchenko’s sister also stated that the authorities who continue to illegally imprison Savchenko, deprive her of elementary things, such as good-quality drinking water. “Nadiya asked them to bring water, but it was delivered only after two weeks,” Verа stated.
January 26, 2015 – International Day in Support of Nadia Savchenko
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress supports the Call for Action issued by the World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations and the Ukrainian World Congress in support of Nadiya Savchenko. Support rallies are scheduled to be held across the world on January 26 to coincide with the opening of the next PACE session, which Savchenko has been formally invited to attend.
Voice Your Support – Come Out in Force on Jan 26th!
Sign a petition in support of Nadia: https://www.change.org