More than 270 leading personalities (Nobel prize awardees, writers, professors, politicians, civic activists, philosophers, artists) representing at least 20 countries worldwide have signed the respective open letter to European leaders.
They have called on them „to take emergency measures with the goal of the immediate and unconditional release of 34-year-old Nadia Savchenko, a Ukrainian citizen, kidnapped and imprisoned for more than twenty months in the Russian Federation“ and concluded that „our ability to save her life will test the effectiveness of international diplomacy and our commitment to European values.“
Open letter to European leaders
We appeal to you to take emergency measures with the goal of the immediate and unconditional release of 34-year-old Nadia Savchenko, a Ukrainian citizen, kidnapped and imprisoned for more than twenty months in the Russian Federation.
The Russian authorities have made a mockery of civil rights, international law, and their own Constitution. They show disdain for the international community and the Minsk Protocol alike.
So far, all efforts of the international community have proven unsuccessful. On March 4, in protest against the proceedings of the Russian court, Nadia Savchenko announced a full hunger strike, refusing even liquids. Our ability to save her life will test the effectiveness of international diplomacy and our commitment to European values.
- Svitlana Aleksievich, writer, Nobel Prize Winner in Literature (Belarus)
- Elfriede Jelinek, writer, Nobel prize Winner in Literature (Austria)
- Tomas Venclova, writer (Lithuania/USA)
- Markus Meckel, Germany Former Minister of Foreign Affairs (Germany)
- Philippe de Suremain, former Ambassador of France in Ukraine (France)
Guy Verhofstadt, President of the Group of Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe in the European Parliament, former Prime Minister of Belgium (Belgium)
Jerzy Buzek, former president of the European Parliament
- Victor Shenderovich, writer (Russia)
- Agnieszka Holland, film director (Poland)
- Luboš Dobrovský, minister at Vaclav Havel Presidency, former Ambassador of Czech Republic to Russian Federation (Czech Republic)
Mikhail Epstein, Professor of Cultural Theory and Russian Literature, Emory University, Atlanta (USA)
- Peter Pomerantsev, writer, journalist (UK)
- Fedor Gál, writer (Slovakia)
Manfred Baechler, Zurych, microbiologist (Switzerland)
- Ilian Vassilev, former Ambassador of Bulgaria to Russia, Managing Partner Innovative Energy Solutions Ltd. (Bulgaria)
- Radu Magdin, analityk analyst, former advisor to Prime Minister (Romania)
Adriaan van Dis, writer (Netherlands)
Zsófia Bán, writer (Hungary)
Lidija Dimkovska, poet, interpreter (Slovenia, Macedonia)
Aris Fioretos, writer (Sweden)
Laura Mincer, Professor, University of Genova (Italy)
Carmen Claudín, Senior Research Fellow Associate CIDOB, Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (Spain)
Janka Vukmir, art historian (Croatia)
Altogether more than 5000 signatures were collected just within 1 day, since this inititiave was launched by a group of Polish and Ukrainian intellectuals.
Anybody willing to join this initiative and to sign the below mentioned letter is free to do so at http://freesavchenko.tilda.ws/ or
The letter has been initiated by Ola Hnatiuk (firstname.lastname@example.org), a Ukrainian / Polish intellectual, historian and writer.
The final speech of Nadia Savchenko in the court:
I want to apologize to the audience for my emotional behaviour. The fact is, it’s very difficult to listen to the same lies over and over again for six months and then hear them repeated all day long. Therefore, I couldn’t help reacting to the prosecutor’s speech like I did.
Now, regarding the debate. During this long and tedious six-month trial we learned that guilt was proven in the course of the judicial process. That guilt is of the Russian journalists [Savchenko is accused of involvement in the deaths of two Russian journalists]. They are guilty of lying and of providing false, distorted information regarding events in Ukraine, the world, and in Russia. They are to blame for neglecting their own security. If they had worn body armour, they would have survived. If they had not hung around where they shouldn’t have, they would have stayed alive.
Russian TV channels were also found guilty. Channels, their owners and their editors are guilty for sending their people — unprepared, unprotected — to their certain death, just for the sake of spreading pretty pictures and false information. They wanted to boost their ratings and made a quick buck. But they absolutely do not care about their journalists. They are the ones who are above all responsible for the deaths of Korneliuk and Voloshin [the two Russian journalists whose deaths Savchenko is accused of involvement in].
We watched here a video of Russia’s Channel 5, in which a reporter said Ukrainian media were lying and Korneliuk and Voloshiin fact were wearing helmets and body armour. But even in this very courtroom it has been proven they had neither helmets nor body armour. We can arrive at that conclusion that Russian TV channels are telling lies.
Front page Photo: OSCE