Release Ukrainian Pilot Imprisoned for Murders She Didn’t Commit

Chernihiv_by_Valerii_Sorokin

Target: President Barack Obama

Goal: Advocate for the release of Ukrainian pilot imprisoned in Russia for murders she couldn’t have committed.

Ukrainian pilot, Nadiya Savchenko is being held and tried for murder in Russia for the alleged murder of two Russian journalists during a military operation. Savchenko, a symbol for Ukrainian independence, alleges that she was kidnapped from Ukraine, forced across the border and imprisoned for deaths she couldn’t have caused. Her cell phone billing data alibis her and shows that she was kidnapped two hours before the journalists died.

International human rights laws dictate how prisoners of war are treated, but because Russia has not explicitly named their actions in Ukraine a war, Savchenko is being treated as a common prisoner and charged with murder. If she were considered a prisoner of war, Savchenko could only be charged with military actions that led to the journalists’ death. Experts say that Putin has politicized Savchenko’s trial to make her an example to show the power Russia exerts over Ukraine.

In the year and a half since she’s been detained, Savchenko has been elected to the Ukrainian Parliament and a delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. She has been hunger striking and has said that she will die soon if she’s not released.

Ask President Obama to speak on behalf of Nadiya Savchenko, advocate for her release and denounce Russia for their ignoring international human rights laws.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Obama,

Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko must be released, otherwise she will die in Russia.

Blamed for two deaths during a military operation, Savchenko claims that she was kidnapped in Ukraine, forced into Russia and imprisoned, although her cell phone billing data shows that she was abducted two hours before the alleged murders.

Prisoners of war cannot be charged with murder when it comes to military operations. But because Russia hasn’t labeled their actions in Ukraine as a “war,” they are treating Savchenko as a common criminal and charging her with murder, although she has followed military orders to defend against Russia’s advances, and was detained under suspicious circumstances. Russia has ignored her rights as a prisoner on every level, even keeping her in a cage in courtrooms — made illegal by the European Court of Human Rights.

If not freed, Savchenko will die in prison by hunger strike or her own hand. Her trial has been highly covered and politicized in an attempt to show Russia’s power over Ukraine — and Savchenko has paid the price as a symbol of Ukrainian independence. Since her imprisonment, she has been elected to a number of political positions, including Ukrainian Parliament.

Please speak on her behalf for her immediate release and safety. Denounce Russia’s actions throughout her trial and advocate for international human rights as they apply to prisoners of war.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Valerii Sorokin

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