Press release: Yulia Tymoshenko beating and hunger strike in Kharkiv

WINNIPEG, April 24, 2012 /CNW/ – This morning Ukrainian Pravda in Kyiv carried the front page story of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko being beaten in her prison cell and forcibly removed against her will by prison staff to a second Kharkiv clinic, allegedly for treatment. This, despite the fact that the German medical team that saw her on Friday and who also saw the hospital/clinic facilities concluded that she cannot be properly treated in Ukraine, and should be moved to a specialized hospital in Germany for surgery and proper treatment.

As a result, she has started a hunger strike and issued a statement carried by Pravda Ukrainy, an English copy of which is attached.

The Canada Ukraine Foundation expresses in the strongest and unequivocal terms its condemnation and protest to the Ukrainian government against this barbaric act and abuse of civil rights against Yulia Tymoshenko, and demands that she be released forthwith, and at the very least, immediately transferred to the Berliner Clinic in Germany for proper medical treatment.

The Canada Ukraine Foundation also calls upon the Canadian Government to immediately raise this matter in the United Nations, at the UN Commission for Human Rights, and in all other appropriate international bodies in order to remedy this egregious situation; and, if necessary, to request the international community to begin to apply international sanctions against those governmental and non-governmental individuals in Ukraine who have been, and continue to be, instrumental in carrying out these political repressions against the democratic leadership of their country.

And in this regard, the Canada Ukraine Foundation supports the Open Letter (attached) released today by the opposition leaders of BYUT and “Our Ukraine” in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine calling on the EU and its Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of  Europe (PACE), and the national parliaments of the EU member states, to help Ukraine’s opposition in its struggle against the authoritarian regime of President Yanukovych, and to seek the release of all its political leadership who are either now in jail, or are awaiting trial, on unlawful politically motivated charges and verdicts.

The Canada Ukraine Foundation (CUF) was formed in 1995 by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, which represents the Ukrainian community in Canada and its many organizations.  CUF coordinates civil society, cultural, educational, community and humanitarian projects and initiatives between Canada and Ukraine.  It also provides policy advice and analysis on Ukrainian affairs to the Government of Canada.

PDF with caption: “Ukrainian Pravda Story – Statement by Yulia Tymoshenko”. PDF available at:

PDF with caption: “Open Letter by BYUT and our Ukraine to the Parliaments of the EU Member States”. PDF available at:

For further information:

For further information contact:
Bohdan Onyschuk, Q.C.,  CUF Chair:  416-561-3453

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