Pascrell, Levin, Fitzpatrick, Kaptur Urge Support of Nadiya Savchenko’s Release

June 9, 2015
Press Release

Ukrainian pilot and Member of Parliament illegally held by Russian authorities since July 2014 in violation of the Minsk Agreement


WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), a member of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus, was joined by Caucus Co-chairs Sander Levin (D-MI), Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) in urging the co-chairs of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission to support the release of detained Ukrainian pilot and Member of Parliament Nadiya Savchenko.

“Since her capture and detention in July 2014, we have been concerned about her deteriorating condition,” the lawmakers wrote in reference to Savchenko. “Savchenko has been subjected to psychiatric evaluations, solitary confinement, and callous treatment by Russian authorities.  She also did not receive adequate medical care, especially since her commencement of hunger strikes to protest the terms of her detention. We urge the Commission to support Nadiya Savchenko’s release and facilitate passage of H.RES. 50.”

 

Nadiya Savchenko is a female fighter pilot for the Ukraine’s Armed Forces.   During her mission in Eastern Ukraine, Savchenko was captured by rebel forces, and illegally transferred to the Russian Federation to stand trial on unsubstantiated charges of complicity to murder.  While in detention, Russian courts have repeatedly delayed her hearing dates for apparently politically motivated reasons.  Most recently, a Moscow court again extended her pretrial detention to June 30.

In January, Rep. Levin was joined by Reps. Pascrell, Fitzpatrick and Kaptur in introducing H. RES. 50, which calls for Savchenko’s release. The companion Senate resolution, H.RES. 52, passed by unanimous consent on February 12, 2015.

 

The full text of the letter follows:


June 8, 2015


Dear Mr. McGovern and Mr. Pitts:

 

We write to ask for your support on half of detained Ukrainian pilot and Member of Parliament Nadiya Savchenko, who has been illegally held by Russian authorities since July 2014 in violation of the Minsk Agreement.

 

Nadiya Savchenko is a female fighter pilot for the Ukraine’s Armed Forces.   During her mission in Eastern Ukraine, Savchenko was captured by rebel forces, and illegally transferred to the Russian Federation to stand trial on unsubstantiated charges of complicity to murder.  While in detention, Russian courts have repeatedly delayed her hearing dates for apparently politically motivated reasons.  Most recently, a Moscow court again extended her pretrial detention to June 30.

 

Since her capture and detention in July 2014, we have been concerned about her deteriorating condition.  Savchenko has been subjected to psychiatric evaluations, solitary confinement, and callous treatment by Russian authorities.  She also did not receive adequate medical care, especially since her commencement of hunger strikes to protest the terms of her detention.

 

Savchenko is a member of the Parliament Assembly of the Council of Europe, and was elected in absentia to Ukraine’s Parliament in October 2014.  The call to end her illegal detention has received overwhelming support from the international community.  In January 2015, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe called for her immediate release, and the House of Representative filed H.RES.50 calling on Russian authorities to release Savchenko.  In February, the Senate passed a companion Resolution calling for the same.  In April, Members of the European Parliament passed a resolution demanding her immediate and unconditional release.  And in May 2015, the United States Ambassador to Ukraine called on Russia to release Savchenko.  In addition, officials at the State Department have repeatedly spoken about their concern for her detention. 

 

We urge the Commission to support Nadiya Savchenko’s release and facilitate passage of H.RES. 50.

 

Media contacts:
Tom Pietrykoski (Pascrell)
Thomas.Pietrykoski@mail.house.gov

Hilarie Chambers (Levin)
Hilarie.Chambers@mail.house.gov

Aaron Clark (Fitzpatrick)
Aaron.Clark@mail.house.gov

Matt Sonneborn (Kaptur)
Matt.Sonneborn@mail.house.gov

 

 

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