Nadiya Savchenko hunger strike: key Ukraine MEPs demand immediate release
Key Ukraine MEPs on Wednesday demanded immediate and unconditional release of Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko, abducted and illegally detained in Russian prison. MEPs are concerned by her deteriorating health situation, after starting a dry strike as a protest against injustice she has been a victim of since 2014 and against the postponement of her final hearing in court.
Please find below the full statement by EP Foreign Affairs committee chair Elmar BROK (EPP, DE), EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee chair Andrej PLENKOVIĆ (EPP, HR) and Ukraine standing rapporteur Jacek SARYUSZ-WOLSKI (EPP, PL).Strasbourg, 9 March 2016.
"We are deeply preoccupied with the deteriorating health situation of Ms Savchenko, who has started a dry strike as a protest against the injustice she has been a victim of since 2014 and against the postponement of her final hearing - a last episode in a series of Kafka-style court hearings.
We condemn the fact that her colleagues, Members of the Ukrainian Parliament, were stopped at the airport in Moscow and were allowed to go only after the plane to Russian Donetsk has left. This is a cynical way of depriving Nadiya from support during her final plea.
We strongly condemn the numerous violations of the rule of law in the Russian Federation which led to her abduction and to an almost two-year long illegal detention, considering that the Russian Federation has no legal basis or jurisdiction to detain her or bring charges against her.
We therefore call on her immediate and unconditional release. We remind that the Russian Federation has a practical solution at hand to put an end to this unbearable situation by exchanging Nadiya. This mechanism is foreseen in the Minsk Agreement under which the Russian Federation has an obligation to provide "exchange of all hostages and illegally held persons" related to the conflict in the East of Ukraine.
Her days are counted, unless she is released."