By any standard, Russia’s treatment of Nadiya Savchenko is unacceptable: Statement to the PC

We once again draw attention to the case of Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada Deputy Nadiya Savchenko, who was captured outside Metallist, Ukraine by Russia-backed separatists in June 2014, and was moved across the border and handed over to Russian authorities who have consistently violated her most basic rights.

The United States deplores her continued ill-treatment and is deeply concerned by reports of her deteriorating health.

On February 25 Moscow City Court decided to uphold an earlier decision to extend the detention of Ms. Savchenko through May 13.

The Moscow City Court also denied a motion to move Ms. Savchenko to house arrest in the Ukrainian Embassy for the duration of the extension in order to allow her to receive increased medical attention.

Ms. Savchenko has entered the third month of a hunger strike to protest her detention. She has lost over 25 kilograms and is experiencing severe medical repercussions.

We understand that the next hearing on Ms. Savchenko’s case is scheduled for March 2, when the court will review a request by the defense to disregard the results of an October 2014 medical assessment because it no longer reflects her current, fragile medical condition. It is difficult to imagine any grounds for denying that request.

By any standard, Russia’s detention and treatment of Ms. Savchencko is unacceptable.

We call on Russia to release her immediately – a commitment Russia made when it signed the September Minsk agreements, and again when it signed the February 12 Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk agreements.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Kate Byrnes to the Permanent Council, Vienna | February 26, 2015