Inhuman treatment of Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko [UWC Letter]

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Letter to the international community

The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) is appalled at the inhuman treatment of Ukraine’s formerPrime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, by Ukraine’s governing authorities.

On 24 April 2012, her lawyer, Mr. Serhiy Vlasenko, made public a hand-written statement byMs. Tymoshenko to the effect that she was forcefully and brutally removed from her prison cell on thenight of 20 April 2012 and transported to a state hospital against her will, and without the presence of her attorney
(http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17824709).

In her statement (http://www.tymoshenko.ua/uk/article/yulia_tymoshenko_24_04_2012_02), Ms. Tymoshenko says that:

After having received conclusions of the German doctors I informed the colony’s head in writing,and supervising prosecutor and deputy minister of health verbally that, taking into account thecontents of the conclusions, I was unable to go to the hospital until I meet with my defensecounsel. We agreed that the transfer to hospital would take place on Monday after I talk toSerhiy Vlasenko.

But around 21:00, my neighbour was made to go out of the prison cell, and later three sturdy mencame into the cell. They approached my bed, threw a bed-sheet over me and began to drag me offthe bed three together applying brutal force. In pain and despair I started to defend myself asI could and got a strong blow in my stomach through the bed-sheet, they wrung my arms and legs,lifted me and dragged in the bed-sheet into the street. I thought these were the last minutes of mylife. In unbearable pain and fear I started to cry and call out for help, but no help came. At somemoment I fell unconscious because of awful pain and came back to consciousness in a hospitalward. Being extremely stressed, I refused to talk to anyone until I see my defense counsels.The next day I refused to take food. But there was no meeting with my defense counsels.

(Translation http://www.tymoshenko.ua/en/article/yulia_tymoshenko_24_04_2012_02)
Ms. Tymoshenko has been on a hunger strike since 20 April 2012 to protest what is happening in Ukraineand the treatment she has been receiving in prison.

On 25 April 2012, the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Nina Karpachova,made the following statement (http://www.ombudsman.gov.ua/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1590:2012-04-25-08-57-27&catid=7:2010-12-07-14-39-36&Itemid=69):

The Ombudsman of Ukraine says that such a convoy of Yulia Tymoshenko is an inhumantreatment of the prisoner and may be qualified as torture according to the Article 3 of theEuropean Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms as well asto the provisions of the UN Convention against torture and the Instruction on the organization ofsecurity in penal institutions of closed type.

In this regard the Commissioner for Human Rights demands:

1. From the Prosecutor General to open the criminal proceedings against those who were involvedin the fact of the brutal treatment of Yulia Tymoshenko during her convoy from the colony and tosuspend them from service;
2. From the Head of the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine to urgently provide all the requiredmedical treatment according to the decision of the European Court of Human Rights and theConclusions of the Ukrainian and independent foreign doctors.

(Translation of-the-ukrainian-parliament-commissioner-for-human-rights&catid=14:2010-12-07-14-44-26&Itemid=75)

In light of the above, the UWC specifically calls upon the international community to:

1) demand that Ms. Tymoshenko be provided with immediate treatment by independent medicalexperts in a specialized clinic;

2) remind Ukraine’s governing authorities of the resolutions and policies passed by internationalinstitutions and the demands by individual nation states (i) that Ms. Tymoshenko be properlytreated and (ii) that opposition members (including Ms. Tymoshenko) be freed and allowed toparticipate in Ukraine’s October 2012 Parliamentary elections;

and

3) warn Ukraine’s governing authorities that there will be personal consequences to them (e.g. denialof entry visas for individuals and their families) of ignoring the aforementioned resolutions,policies and demands of international institutions and individual nation states.

The UWC is an international coordinating body for Ukrainian communities in the diaspora representing theinterests of over 20 million Ukrainians. The UWC has member organizations in 32 countries and ties withUkrainians in 14 additional countries. Founded in 1967 as a non-profit corporation, the UWC wasrecognized in 2003 as a non-governmental organization (NGO) by the United Nations Economic andSocial Council with special consultative status.

Sincerely,

UKRAINIAN WORLD CONGRESS
Eugene Czolij

President


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