[Aaus-list] Fwd: Free Savchenko: Open letter to European leaders

stephen velychenko velychen at chass.utoronto.ca
Mon Mar 7 11:13:26 EST 2016


FREE SAVCHENKO PETITION
---------- Forwarded message ----------


*More than 270 prominent personalities signed the international appeal to
free Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko*



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 „*o**ur ability to save her
life will test the effectiveness of international diplomacy and our
commitment to European values*.“



Among the signatories of this petition are


   - *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 *5**000 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

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/free-savchenko-open-letter-to-european-leaders
.



The letter has been initiated by Ola Hnatiuk (ola.hnatiuk at gmail.com), a
Ukrainian / Polish intellectual, historian and writer.


------------------------------

The letter and the list of signatories can be found here –
http://freesavchenko.tilda.ws/



*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.



*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*
<http://uatoday.tv/politics/show-of-defiance-498743.html>*]. 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.*






-- 
Stephen Velychenko
Research Fellow,
Chair of Ukrainian Studies
100 St George Street
University of Toronto
Toronto M5S 3G3
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