CANADA UKRAINE FOUNDATION
For Immediate Release
October 12, 2011
The Canada Ukraine Foundation expresses its unequivocal disappointment and strongest protest to the Ukrainian government against the conviction and sentencing to seven years imprisonment on October 11 of Yulia Tymoshenko, former Prime Minister of Ukraine. We believe that the prosecution and conviction was a gross miscarriage of justice aimed at eliminating a key leader of the political opposition to the current government in power on spurious charges.
The trial process demonstrated a clear lack of fairness and transparency, as noted and witnessed by the Helsinki Monitoring Group and others, including personally the Chair of CUF. The defence was continuously hampered in their abilities to prepare properly, to present key evidence and to raise valid objections to the conduct of the trial. This has also been clearly confirmed by numerous legal and judicial observers from many European and other Western countries that have attended the proceedings.
This miscarriage of justice is true not only with respect to this specific prosecution, but also to those of some fifty other members of the former Tymoshenko government. Despite numerous statements by President Yanukovich and his government that they are committed to ensuring Ukraine’s adherence to European and UN standards of justice and human rights, these events and this mock trial indicate otherwise.
We strongly suppport the position taken by President Obama in his press statement made today, and we urge the Ukrainian government to take immediate steps to rectify this egregious wrong. We would also encourage the Canadian government and the European Union to convey their displeasure to the Ukrainian government and to make it clear that Ukraine’s future integration into the European and global community of free nations is incompatible and will therefore not occur with its conduct as demonstrated in this trial and this conviction.
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.