Vera Savchenko campaigns in Paris for sister's release from Moscow jail (Video)
Vera Savchenko, the sister of captured Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko, held for months in a Moscow prison, came to Paris to get more support from the French government and high-profile French intellectuals ahead of another trial hearing expected to be held on Friday.
The visit included meetings with members of the Senate, the National Assembly, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Foreign Ministry, as well as with the French “intelligentsia” and cultural figures, such as writer and philosopher Bernard Henri Levy, Ukraine Today reports.
Despite diplomatic demands and other efforts worldwide made to provide for Nadia’s release, a 33-year old prisoner remains imprisoned, while the charges of being involved in the killing of two Russian journalists last June are seen by many as illegitimate.
According to her lawyers, Russian-backed insurgents captured Savchenko in eastern Ukraine and handed her over to the Moscow authorities, ignoring international law.
Vera Savchenko is hoping to marshal public opinion to force the Russian authorities to change their stance toward captured Ukrainian pilot, who she says is actually a political prisoner. Vera Savchenko is also eager to constantly remind politicians to keep up the pressure on the Kremlin.
The Ukrainian Embassy to France hosted a press conference where Vera Savchenko addressed the public together with Ukrainian MP Mustafa Dzhemilev, the leader of the Crimean Tatars.
A former prisoner of consciousness in the Soviet Union, Dzhemilev compared his experience of hunger strikes in Soviet GULAG to that of Nadia Savchenko.
Today, repressive measures against Dzhemilev are taken again, now by Russian authorities who banned him from re-entering Crimea soon after the Russia’s annexation of the peninsula.
Noting that no one wants to ruin relations between France and Russia, Vera Savchenko still urged the French to take a public position on Savchenko’s case. She also plans to visit Istanbul and Brussels with similar agenda and later attend her sister's court hearing in Moscow.
See unian.info’s video section for more of the latest news from Ukraine in video from Ukraine Today, Ukraine’s 24-hour English-language news channel.