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Senator Andreychuk calls for release of Ukrainian pilot, MP and political prisoner Nadiya Savchenko

Senator Andreychuk today called for the release of Ukrainian pilot and MP Nadiya Savchenko, who has been imprisoned in Russia since early July 2014.

“It is incumbent upon the Russian authorities to comply with their obligations under the Minsk agreements, and to honour resolutions of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the European Parliament and others calling for the immediate release Ms. Savchenko,” said Senator Andreychuk, who noted the situation had become increasingly urgent in light of Savchenko’s rapidly deteriorating health.

“A young woman’s life is being put at risk in the name of politics,” added Senator Andreychuk. “It is necessary for Russian authorities and judiciary to respect human rights and parliamentary immunity.”

Background

Ms. Nadiya Savchenko, 33, is a Ukrainian air force pilot, Member of Parliament and delegate of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

On June 18, 2014, she was captured by Kremlin-backed separatists. Accused of complicity in the deaths of two Russian journalists in Luhansk, Ukraine, she was subsequently imprisoned in Moscow.

On January 25, 2015, she was charged with the additional offense of “illegally crossing the border.”

No evidence has been produced to support the accusations in court. On February 25, a Moscow appeals court upheld a recent extension of Savchenko’s detention to 13 May 2015.

Savchenko has been on hunger strike since December 13, 2014. She has recently complained about pains in her kidneys and gallbladder, prompting growing concern for her life.

A Global Day of Action on March 1, 2015, has been organized to raise awareness about Savchenko’s worsening situation. A previous Global Day of Action on January 26, 2015, was met with demonstrations in some 54 cities worldwide.

A parallel Twitter campaign is calling on the Kremlin to #FreeSavchenko.

Contact: Shaughn McArthur 613-996-4600