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Monday, August 5, 2013

Ukraine: The second anniversary of Yulia Tymoshenko’s imprisonment

Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukrainian
ex-Prime Minister and oppositional
On Monday, 5 August, is the second anniversary of Yulia Tymoshenko’s, Ukrainian ex-Prime Minister’s and prominent oppositional leader’s, imprisonment.

Ex-Prime Minister of Ukraine was arrested on 5 August 2011 in Kyiv Pechersk Court after she was declared guilty in the so called “gas case” and accused of abuse of authority during her term as a head of Ukrainian government and signing the unpopular gas contracts between Russia and Ukraine in 2009. The arrest of Yulia Tymoshenko was considered by many being politically motivated, and international community, including EU, has called for her release and for end of selective justice in Ukraine.

Later, on 11 October 2011, Yulia Tymoshenko has received 7 years in prison. In addition to that it is prohibited for the ex-Prime Minister to hold any political activity and hold official governmental positions during three years after the prison term. The court has also satisfied the claim of Ukrainian gas company NAK Naftogaz of Ukraine.

Kyiv Court of appeal declared the decision of Kyiv Pechersk Court being in power, and Mrs.Tymoshenko was delivered to Kachanivska prison, located in Charkiv governorate. Ukrainian ex-Prime Minister still remains there.

Ukrainian oppositional forces and supporters of the deposed leader have demanded the independent medical examination to be conducted as Mrs. Tymoshenko was claiming having the serious health problem even while being detained in Kyiv during the investigations of her case. Mrs. Tymoshenko stated she doesn’t trust Ukrainian doctors, and her supporters and the defense team have made been calling for the permission for her medical examination and treatment outside of the prison and even of Ukraine. But till now all those demands remained without answer, as the authorities claim there is no lawful way for such a procedure in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, international community including EU politicians and leaders are urging Ukrainian authorities to reconsider the case of Mrs. Tymoshenko as they see the political elements in her arrest and the following detention which continues during two years. Serious reforms of the judicial system in Ukraine should be applied and conducted due to the wish of Ukraine to sign the Association Agreement with EU this autumn. European community has been calling for Ukrainian authorities to stop the politically motivated imprisonments in the country and to release the detained oppositional leader.

On Monday, 5 August, several supporters of Ukrainian ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko have gathered in Kyiv in some other Ukrainian cities for the rallies to declare their support of the deposed leader and to demand her release.