Georgian Parliament Adopts Resolution Demanding Savchenko’s Release

TBILISI - Georgia’s parliament has unanimously adopted a resolution that calls on Russia to immediately release Ukrainian POW Nadezhda Savchenko, a military pilot who was sentenced to 22 years in prison after she was convicted of being responsible for the deaths of two Russian journalists who were allegedly killed in a 2014 artillery attack in eastern Ukraine.

The resolution demands that Savchenko and all other illegally detained Ukrainian citizens be released immediately and repatriated to their home country.

The motion was sponsored by lawmakers from the opposition Free Democrats party and garnered unanimous support from all of the main political parties with 85 in votes favor and zero against.

The resolution explicitly states that Russia has no right to detain, arrest, charge or convict a Ukrainian citizen for allegedly committing a crime inside Ukraine’s sovereign territory. It also states that the conviction of Savchenko by a Russian court is illegal.

Related coverage: Ukraine’s Savchenko Given 22-Year Prison Sentence by Russian Court

Savchenko has been illegally held by Russian authorities for nearly two years after Moscow-backed separatists in east Ukraine kidnapped her in June 2014 while she fighting as a front-line combat volunteer in Kyiv’s Aidar Battalion.

Savchenko’s case has become a cause celebre for the international community and a symbol of Ukrainian resistance to Moscow’s aggressive policy towards other former Soviet republics.

The world community has called for her immediate release, claiming her detention was politically motivated.

Moscow has angrily responded to the pleas, saying any international pressure amounts to illegal interference into the Russian criminal justice system.

By Tamar Svanidze
Edited by Nicholas Waller

16 April 2016 01:18