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U.S. Concerned Over 'Callous' Treatment Of Savchenko

  • RFE/RL

The United States said it is concerned over the “callous and outrageous” treatment by Russia of detained Ukrainian pilot and parliament member Nadia Savchenko.

Speaking at a May 5 news briefing in Washington, State Department spokesperson Jeff Rathke called on Russia to release Savchenko and all other “hostages” immediately.

“We reiterate our serious concerns over her treatment in detention and reports that she is gravely ill while she remains a hostage to Russian authorities," Rathke said.

Earlier on May 5, Savchenko's lawyer said on Twitter that Russian authorities have extended the preliminary inquiry into Savchenko's case until November 13. A decision on the expected extension of her detention is due to be taken May 6.

Savchenko has been jailed in Russia since July, when she says she was illegally brought into the country after being abducted by separatists in Ukraine.

She is charged with complicity in the killing of two Russian journalists who died in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, as well as illegal border crossing.

She denies guilt and conducted a hunger strike for more than 80 days to protest her incarceration.​

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