27 February 2015 ~ BBC Russian Service
A member of the Council on Human Rights (CHR) of the President of Russia, Yelena Masyuk, has called for the transfer to house arrest of the Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko, who has been on hunger strike in a Moscow pre-trial detention center for more than 70 days.
Masyuk called upon other members of the CHR to support her call and appeal to the Russian authorities with a request to change the conditions of Savchenko’s detention.
“Before you decide, respected colleagues, to oppose me for the reason that – possibly – you consider Savchenko a criminal and a murderer, and you insist that that a court will decide everything, remember my words: Nadezhda Savchenko may die in the next few days,” Masyuk said in her statement.
According to her words, the health of Savchenko in recent days has sharply worsened. She has already refused injections of glucose for 15 days, and she now has serious problems with her internal organs, explained Masyuk.
“It is not in our powers to free Nadezhda Savchenko from arrest, but we are right to appeal to that which can change the conditions of her detention. For example, to house arrest within the walls of the Ukrainian Embassy in Moscow or in an apartment rented by lawyers in Moscow. This will save her life,” stressed Masyuk.
On Tuesday, the Moscow City Court recognized as legal the extension of Savchenko’s arrest until the middle of May and refused to approve the petition of protection for changes to her conditions of detention. The Ukrainian’s defense expressed doubt that the case will reach court because the investigative organs, in the words of lawyer Ilya Novikov, cannot complete the investigation.
Savchenko is accused of participation in the murder of two Russian journalists in summer of law year near Luhansk. She rejects the accusations.
Earlier on Thursday, the European Union called upon the Russian authorities to quickly release Nadezhda Savchenko.
“The Russian side bears responsibility for the very poor health of Savchenko,” declared a representative of the head of diplomatic relations of the EU, Federica Mogherini.
Swedish Euro MP Anna Maria Corazza Bildt in the name of 61 MPs sent a letter to the representative of Russia for the European Union Vladimir Chizhkov with a call to free Savchenko.
A few days ago, German doctors at their request were allowed to visit the starving pilot.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany announced that Savchenko’s state of health had become alarmingly disturbing.
The famous Russian writer Vladimir Voinovich also turned to Vladimir Putin with an appeal to free Nadezhda Savchenko.
In his words, it is predicted that the international community will react more severely to the death of the pilot “than to the annexation of Crimea and the war in the Donbas.”
“And the name of Savchenko will become larger than life. Legends will be told about her, books will be written, films will be made. Streets and squares will be named after her,” the writer said in an open letter to the President.