Riigikogu releases statement in support of illegally detained Ukrainian MP Nadiya Savchenko
“The Riigikogu expresses deep concern over the fate of Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada Member Nadiya Savchenko, who was captured in Ukraine and is being illegally detained in Russia, and calls for her release,” the statement read.
Savchenko was kidnapped in Eastern Ukraine on Jun. 17, 2014, and taken to Russia. Only in July 2015 the Russian investigative committee introduced the story that Savchenko had crossed the border voluntarily, pretending to be a refugee, directly contradicting media reports and previously available evidence that Savchenko had been “captured” by “rebels” in the Donbass and handed over to the Russian authorities.
Savchenko faces charges of complicity in the killing of two Russian journalists in Eastern Ukraine on the day she was kidnapped. The two men died in a mortar attack of Ukrainian troops on a supposed rebel position. Ukrainian authorities confirmed that the journalists weren’t accredited and didn’t comply with safety regulations.
On Aug. 27, 2014, the Sovetsky District Court of Voronezh extended the detention order against Savchenko by another two months, and ordered her to submit to a forensic psychological evaluation.
On Dec. 22, 2014, the Moscow City Court upheld the decision to keep Savchenko under arrest until the end of the investigation.
While still detained in Russia, Savchenko was made a delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on 26 Jan., 2015, which gave her diplomatic immunity. Russia still didn’t release her.
The investigation should have been concluded by February last year, but wasn’t. Instead, the proceedings have been dragging on since. Savchenko’s lawyer, Mark Feygin, tweeted on Feb. 5 this year: “The court verdict in her case is a foregone conclusion, and so is the question of her release. The negotiations to send her home are underway.”
Savchenko wrote in March that it was an absurd situation that those who abducted people and subjected them to torture then acted as if they the right to judge them. “How can one talk about a fair trial? In Russia, there are no trials or investigations - only a farce played out by Kremlin puppets. [...] those in the world with democratic values ought to learn their history lessons before it's too late and remember that there was a time when Europe was tolerant toward Hitler, and America wasn’t decisive enough, and this led to World War II,” Savchenko wrote.
On Mar. 4, 2016, Savchenko went on a hunger strike, refusing both food and water, to protest against the illegal trial and demand her return to Ukraine.
In its statement, the Riigikogu said that the Russian Federation continued the trial against Savchenko on baseless charges, and that it was little more than political vengeance.
The Riigikogu called on the Russian Federation to immediately release Nadiya Savchenko and hand her over to Ukraine.
The Riigikogu also called for the officials of the Russian Federation responsible for the capture, detention and illegal trial of Nadiya Savchenko to be banned from entering the European Union.