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Defense appeals against refusal to let Ukrainian medics examine Savchenko

March 13, 2015, 20:22 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Ukrainian medics want to examine Nadezhda Savchenko after her long hunger strike

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Nadezhda Savchenko in detention

Nadezhda Savchenko in detention

© Artyom Korotayev/TASS

MOSCOW, March 13. /TASS/. The defense is filing a complaint to the Russian General Prosecutor’s Office after Ukrainian medics were not allowed to examine Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko in a pre-trial detention centre on Friday on grounds that they had no authorization document, her lawyer Mark Feigin said.

Meanwhile, lawyer Nikolay Polozov said the medics had received permit to examine Savchenko from the Federal Penitentiary Service on guarantees of Human Rights Ombudsperson Ella Pamfilova.

Professor Nataliya Kharchenko from the group of Ukrainian medics confirmed to TASS that they had waited at the prison for more than five hours. "We spent more than five hours sitting in a car outside the pretrial detention facility. They said they were no obstacles but wouldn’t let us in," she said.

Kharchenko, a gastroenterologist and nutritionist, said the group of medics also included a professor neurologist and anesthesiologist-resuscitator.

Ukrainian medics want to examine Nadezhda Savchenko after her long hunger strike.

The 33-year-old Ukrainian ex-military was charged with complicity to an attack that killed two Russian journalists on eastern Ukraine's frontlines, where she enlisted as a volunteer in one of the battalions fighting against local militias.

Russian investigators say that Savchenko, the gunner of a Mi-24 helicopter, joined the notorious Aidar battalion during combat operations in the much-troubled Lugansk region of Ukraine last June.

Noting the position of a filming crew of the Russian State Broadcasting Company and other civilians, she allegedly reported the data to mortar-equipped personnel who fired on the crew and the civilians. As a result, correspondent Igor Kornelyuk and sound engineer Anton Voloshin were killed.

Savchenko went on hunger strike in December to protest at her arrest. Her lawyers said in mid-February that she was also refusing glucose, taking only drinking water. On March 6, the Ukrainian agreed to drink chicken broth following doctors’ recommendations. But the prison service said she had not given up continuing her hunger strike.

As she was elected a deputy of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of the eighth convocation, she filed resignation from the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Ella Pamfilova and other human rights advocates - members of the presidential Human Rights Council - have repeatedly visited her in the pre-trial detention center.

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