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International observation mission to Moscow and Voronezh on the case of Lieutenant Nadiya Savchenko 16-18 July, 2014

The Open Dialog Foundation. in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, has organised the first international observation mission to Lieutenant Nadiya Savchenko, Ukrainian army pilot arrested by pro-Russian terrorists in Ukraine and abducted to Russia, and charged with the murder of two Russian journalists.

Her case is being processed by the Investigative Committee and Moscow’s prosecutor’s office. Nadiya is being held in remand prison in Voronezh, in south-west Russia. According to international law, Russia has no right to detain, charge or put Nadiya on trial. Russian authorities do not allow any visits or contact from diplomatic and consular services or attorneys. Apart from investigators and public defenders who are linked to the Federal Security Service, no one has had the opportunity to see Nadiya since her arrest. We do not have any information concerning her physical and mental condition at this time. 

Nadiya has become a symbol of the Ukrainian people’s resistance against external attempts to instigate a civil war on the territory of Ukraine, and Moscow’s violent military actions against Ukraine which have become increasingly overt. President Poroshenko has declared that there will be an active exploration of all avenues which may lead to the freeing of Nadiya. In response to a request from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the Open Dialog Foundation suggests a broad international campaign alongside support for Nadiya and her family in obtaining adequate legal counsel. Nadiya’s attorney, hired by the Foundation, in consultation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and her family, is Mark Feygin, a renowned Russian lawyer, whose clients include Pussy Riot, and currently Mustafa Dzhemilev and Mukhtar Ablyazov. 

The mission will go to Moscow to meet with representatives of the Russian government and the judiciary; diplomatic representatives of Ukraine and EU member states, human rights advocates and the media. Members of the mission will travel to Voronezh in an attempt to secure a visit with Nadiya and monitor the conditions of her detention. They will also meet with the investigators and lawyers involved in Savchenko’s case. 

The mission comprises Polish MPs, members of the Supreme Council of Ukraine, representatives of human rights organisations and the Human Rights Ombudsman office.