On Nadiya Savchenko and other Ukrainian hostages held in Russia: Statement to the PC

Ukrainian jailed military officer Nadiya Savchenko sits in a cage at a court room in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, March 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

The United States condemns the continued detention of Nadiya Savchenko, Oleg Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Stanislav Klykh, Mykola Karpyuk, and all other Ukrainians unjustly held in Russia.

The United States continues to monitor Ms. Savchenko’s trial closely. We note with alarm that Ms. Savchenko has lost 15 kilograms as a result of her hunger strike to protest her ongoing illegal detention and blatantly biased trial.

The chairman of the Donetsk City Court in Russia refused to add witness interrogation reports to the case file during Nadiya Savchenko’s trial. The chairman also refused to consider video evidence from the time of Ms. Savchenko’s original detention in Luhansk, Ukraine.

No trial should proceed without due consideration of all legal evidence at hand. Evidence and testimony presented in support of Ms. Savchenko’s defense should be taken into consideration by the court, under the same conditions as any evidence against her, in accordance with requisite fair trial guarantees.

Thus far, the Russian authorities have not upheld their obligations to ensure fair, equal and transparent process, after their abduction of Ms. Savchenko from Ukraine in 2014.

The United States continues to call on the Russian Federation to investigate promptly and impartially allegations of torture made by Ukrainian citizens Stanislav Klykh and Mykola Karpyuk, who are the subject of a show trial in Chechnya based on charges that they killed Russians during the first Chechen conflict. We are concerned by reports that prison and other Russian authorities are subjecting Mr. Klykh to abuse.

We underscore again that the cases of Nadiya Savchenko, Oleg Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Stanislav Klykh, Mykola Karpyuk, and all other Ukrainian unjustly held in Russia raise serious concerns about the rule of law and Russia’s respect for its international obligations.

The charges against Ukrainian citizens held for politically motivated reasons should be dismissed. These individuals should be released and immediately allowed to return to Ukraine, as Russia works toward implementing all of its Minsk commitments.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer to the OSCE Permanent Council, Vienna