Kyiv, January 26, 2014. The Italian League of Human Rights, German human rights lawyers, as well as the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini have announced their support for Nadiya Savchenko, a Ukrainian military pilot, and other citizens of Ukraine incarcerated in Russian prisons. Valeria Rybak, coordinator at “OZON” public monitoring group, Yevhenia Slyozka, human rights lawyer and moderator of Nadiya Savchenko Facebook page in English, and Petro Okhotin, political advisor at the “Open Dialog” Foundation, told this during the press-briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
Valeria Rybak explained that Russia violates a number of judicial procedures while reviewing the case of Nadiya Savchenko. It is unprecedented when not Ukrainian but Russian authorities investigate the case of a Ukrainian citizen. Russian authorities deliberately created obstacles for the lawyers to access to Ms. Savchenko. Moreover, Russia severely violates presumption of innocence principle, as Nadiya Savchenko delivers her speeches in court behind the bars or in a glass cell, even though she has not been proven guilty.
“When we started to spread information about the Savchenko case, we had to go against the flow of Russian propaganda. Many of the human rights organisations were not aware of Nadiya Savchenko who was illegally put in custody,” Ms. Slyozkina said. Thanks to the activists’ efforts, residents of 31 countries organised protests next to Russian diplomatic institutions.
Nadiya Savchenko has received a diplomatic immunity today as a Ukraine’s delegate to PACE. Activists gave a letter to European politicians, urging to support Nadiya Savchenko, as well as to recognise the “Donetsk People’s Republic” and the “Luhansk People’s Republic” as terrorist organizations, and Russia as a sponsor of these groups. Therefore, Russia’s work at PACE should be blocked due to the former’s status as the state sponsor of terrorism.