WirePOLITICS: Fitzpatrick calls for release of detained Ukrainian pilot

Tom Waring, the Wire

U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick joined members of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus in urging the co-chairs of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission to support the release of detained Ukrainian pilot and member of Parliament Nadiya Savchenko.

“Since her capture and detention in July 2014, we have been concerned about her deteriorating condition,” the lawmakers wrote in reference to Savchenko. “Savchenko has been subjected to psychiatric evaluations, solitary confinement and callous treatment by Russian authorities. She also did not receive adequate medical care, especially since her commencement of hunger strikes to protest the terms of her detention. We urge the Commission to support Nadiya Savchenko’s release and facilitate passage of H.RES. 50.”

Savchenko is a female fighter pilot for Ukraine’s armed forces. During her mission in Eastern Ukraine, Savchenko was captured by rebel forces, and illegally transferred to the Russian Federation to stand trial on unsubstantiated charges of complicity to murder. While in detention, Russian courts have repeatedly delayed her hearing dates for apparently politically motivated reasons. Most recently, a Moscow court again extended her pretrial detention to June 30.

Fitzpatrick is serving his fourth and final term in the House of Representatives.