Savchenko renews hunger strike, warns lawless regime must be stopped
Nadiya Savchenko announced on Monday, March 16, that she is resuming her hunger strike in protest at her ongoing detention. In a letter to Ukrainians posted by her lawyer, Mark Feygin, Savchenko explains her 10-day suspension of the hunger strike by saying that she had had to respond to the appeals from everybody for her to begin eating. “Otherwise how will you believe me in the future that your opinion is important to me?” She demonstrated the wisdom and patience needed, she says, to reach a compromise and heeded the European Court of Human Rights’ advice that she stop her hunger strike and not cause harm to her health.
However, she asks people to listen now to her, and says that it is not she who is causing the damage, but those ‘executors’ who illegally abducted her and have imprisoned her.
She is not unwilling to make compromises, she says, but she cannot and will not bargain with her conscience and the truth. She finds it very strange that compromises are still possible between Ukraine and Russia, but for her there can be no compromise with Russia’s legal system. “There can be no compromise between honour and dishonour!”
Savchenko explains that she suspended her hunger strike for 10 days, from March 5 to 15, to demonstrate that she valued the concern people showed for her.
“But I can’t do it any longer since I would simply stop respecting myself. From March 16 I am resuming my hunger strike until the day that I am returned to Ukraine or until the last day of my life in Russia. To the end – the victorious end!”
She will be free, she asserts, and adds that one way or another the Kremlin will be forced to return her to her native Ukraine.
Whether or not the Russian authorities are too scared of losing face and lack the courage to admit their mistake, she will never lose her human face.
“Instead of admitting honestly that Russia’s Investigative Committee got it wrong and abducted me and another hundred Ukrainians and threw us in prison, thus discrediting itself as an investigative body through its criminal actions, and instead of punishing them in accordance with the law, the Russian authorities are encouraging their actions, and demonstrating to the world that there is no law in Russia!”
She adds that even the dimmest Russian politician cannot fail to understand that her death in Russia will be just one of the triggers of a third world war. The world community cannot continue to allow Russia to show such contempt for international law – through its annexation of Crimea; the war in Donbas; and the abduction and murder of free citizens of other countries.
“Everybody understands that Russia has brought tragedy to Ukraine, and tomorrow it will come with its tragedy to their own home. If Russians do not want war, they must take the decision, find the courage to stop their bloodthirsty regime”.
Nadiya Savchenko’s formal statement announcing her resumption of the hunger strike says that she is declaring indefinite hunger strike because of actions by the Investigative Committee against her which are in breach of international law and because of the failure of the Russian authorities to respond to those infringements.
Mark Feygin confirmed on Monday that Savchenko has resumed the hunger strike, stating however that this was in protest at the failure to release her from custody.
As reported here, Savchenko had said on a number of occasions that she would be willing to stop the hunger strike if released into the custody of the Ukrainian embassy.
It was only on March 14 that Ukrainian doctors were finally able to examine Savchenko. They found her state of health “satisfactory”, but strongly dissuaded her from resuming the hunger strike.
There is no information as to whether Nadiya Savchenko will agree to the glucose supplement which she had taken until about the middle of February. Without that, her life would be in very real and immediate danger.
Last week Savchenko’s defence also presented new evidence indicating that the former military pilot, now Ukrainian MP and delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe [PACE] had already been captured by Kremlin-backed militants in the Luhansk oblast before the two Russian journalists, whose deaths Savchenko is accused of involvement in, were killed.
This is simply further confirmation of an alibi for which there is already ample evidence. It is, of course, an inconvenient alibi as it forces all parties to admit what everybody knows, but Moscow refuses to acknowledge, namely that Nadiya Savchenko was captured in Ukraine and taken by force to Russia.
Judge after judge has shown no concern that a person who has an unbreakable alibi is being held in detention. Russian courts have been similarly unperturbed by the fact that the investigators have provided no evidence to back their claims.
There are also no grounds for believing that the journalists were deliberately targeted. It should be stressed that the Russian Foreign Ministry and Russian pro-Kremlin media began pushing the line that the journalists had been killed as supposed bearers of the truth about the Ukrainian army’s ‘punitive campaign in Donbas’ from the very night they were killed.
Failure to release Savchenko is also a direct violation of both the Minsk Agreement from early September and the agreement apparently given by Russia at the Minsk II talks in February this year.
Nadiya Savchenko’s birthday is on May 11. While we hope that she will have been released by then, letters now and for her birthday are very welcome. Indeed Ukraine’s Postal Service UkrPoshta has even issued a call to Ukrainians to join in their campaign and write to Nadiya Savchenko.
Please send letters and greetings to:
Савченко Надежда Викторовна,
107076, г. Москва,
ул. Матросская Тишина, дом 18, ФКУ СИЗО-1 УФСИН РФ
They will definitely be censored so do avoid any comments that will prevent the letters getting through.