Tuesday, 1 May 2012

US State Department Statement on Yulia Tymoshenko

Former Ukraine Prime Minister Tymoshenko has been imprisoned by the government of the Ukraine on abuses of power charges.  The State Department issued a statement today, raising concern over Tymoshenko's imprisonment and human rights abuses against her.
Germany has been in the forefront of criticizing the Ukrainian government, threatening a boycott of it Ministers of the European Championships EURO 2012. The President of the German soccer club FC Bayern Muenchen has also called for the players of the German national side to speak out on the issue.  Germany will be based in the Ukraine during the group stage of the tournament.

The Human Rights Ombudsman has released pictures of Yulia Tomyshenko, which would indicate that she has also been physically abused.

Tymoshenko is serving a seven year sentence of abuse of power charges, based on an energy deal with Russia.  Western countries have condemned the charges and threatened to freeze cooperation with the Ukraine.  Tymoshenko has been on hunger strike for the last ten days to protest alleged abuse in Kharkiv prison.  Kharkiv is one of the venues during EURO 2012, the European Soccer championship, hosted by Poland and the Ukraine.

Little media coverage has been given to this issue in North American media.  It's good to see the United States speak out on this issue.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued the following statement on the treatment of Yulia Tymoshenko

The United States is deeply concerned by the treatment of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and other imprisoned members of her former government. The photographs of Mrs. Tymoshenko released by the Ukrainian Human Rights Ombudsman further call into question the conditions of her confinement. We urge the Ukrainian authorities to ensure that Mrs. Tymoshenko receives immediate medical assistance in an appropriate facility and request that the U.S. Ambassador be given access to her. We continue to call for her release, the release of other members of her former government and the restoration of their full civil and political rights.

Related Stories:

Euro 2012 has become a political football in Germany

Ukraine Considers German Threat to Boycott Euro 2012  Cold War Methods  

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