We deeply deplore a Russian court decision to extend the illegal detention of Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada Deputy Nadiya Savchenko through May 13. Savchenko has been on a hunger strike for 60 days to protest her illegal detention, during which time she has lost over 60 pounds, and she is experiencing severe medical repercussions. She was captured outside Metallist, Ukraine, by Russia-backed separatists in June 2014, and she was illegally moved across the border and handed over to Russian authorities who have consistently violated her human rights. While imprisoned, Savchenko has been forced to suffer “psychiatric evaluation,” solitary confinement, restricted access to Ukrainian consular officials, and isolation from her family. We call on Russia to stop its violations of her human rights, to respect her dignity, and to release Nadiya Savchenko and all other Ukrainian hostages immediately – a commitment Russia made when it signed the Minsk agreements in September of last year.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer to the Permanent Council, Vienna | February 12, 2015