The Savchenko List announcement by the Open Dialog Foundation in Kyiv
Article by: Victoria Zhugan, press-secretary of the Open Dialog Foundation
On February 13, human rights defenders from the Open Dialog Foundation published the “Savchenko List.” They urged the imposition of personal sanctions against persons responsible for the kidnapping, arrest and imprisonment of Ukraine’s PACE delegate, people’s deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Ukrainian citizen Nadiya Savchenko, as well as for other gross violations of human rights in the Russian Federation.
The list includes several dozen Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin and the entire Russian delegation in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). In the appeal to the leadership of NATO, PACE and the European Council and the European Commission, as well as the Ukrainian President, the Verkhovna Rada and the Prime Minister, the human rights activists demand to impose personal sanctions on individuals from the Savchenko List and to facilitate punishment of the persons guilty of the wrongdoing.
During a press briefing Petro Okhotin, political advisor of the Fund, explained:
“Through consultations with the Russian lawyers defending Nadiya Savchenko and representatives of the human rights community, we’ve decided to create a Savchenko List, similar to the Magnitsky List. Persons who have been involved in the abduction and illegal detention of the Ukrainian pilot should be punished. Otherwise, it would set a dangerous legal precedent of impunity for Russian officials.”
Bartosz Kramek, Chairman of the Board of the Open Dialog Foundation, spoke about the struggle for Nadiya Savchenko on the international front:
“Polish team regularly distributes reports about the case prepared by our analysts among the European media, non-governmental organizations and politicians. Europeans do not always have complete information. Plus, many of them are under the influence of Russian propaganda. It is a powerful document, on the basis of which we as a human rights organization will be able to put pressure on the European community. We encourage our colleagues and the media also use this list.”
Anastasiia Chornohorska, project coordinator of the Fund, described the principle that was used to create the Savchenko List:
“We have included four categories of people in the list. These are those individuals responsible for the political decisions in the Savchenko case, those who fabricated evidence during the pre-trial investigation, those who present the fabricated evidence and took the illegal decisions on the basis of it, as well as those responsible for the financial support of all of them. The list consists of several dozen people, among them – the head of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation Bastrykin, head of the Presidential Administration Volodin, leader of the “LNR” Plotnitsky, the delegation members of the Russian delegation to PACE, which did not vote for freeing Savchenko, the billionaire Rottenberg brothers who fun the Russian global lobbying network. In first place on the list is Russian President Vladimir Putin.”
The human rights activists demand to restrict entry of the persons from the list to countries involved, to block access to bank accounts and seize property in those countries, as well as to assist in the objective investigation into and proper punishment of those responsible for the kidnapping, arrest, and imprisonment of Nadiya Savchenko.
The Open Dialog Foundation is the first to work on the Savchenko case, including organizing the legal aid. In 2014, the human rights defenders organized six observation missions to Russia, which precluded the Savchenko court process from occuring “behind closed doors” and received a wide publicity. Analytical reports of the foundation are distributed among other human rights organizations in Ukraine and Europe and are sent to European policy makers and the media. In January 2015 during a meeting of the PACE representatives, Open Dialog organized a meeting of members of the Assembly with Savchenko’s lawyer Mark Feigin where they voiced the need to exclude Russia from the Assembly.