Ashton: Tymoshenko's condition raises concern


EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton has voiced her deep concern over the fate of Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, following reports, confirmed by the Ukrainian Ombudsperson’s Office, that Tymoshenko had been subjected to physical violence during the transfer from her cell to a hospital on 20 April.
In today’s statement issued by her spokesperson, the High Representative recalled the obligation of Ukraine “to examine promptly and impartially any complaints of torture or other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment,” stressing she was seriously concerned by Tymoshenko’s decision to begin a hunger strike to draw the attention of the international community to the situation in Ukraine.
The High Representative called on the Ukrainian authorities “to ensure the full respect of the right of Ms Tymoshenko to adequate medical assistance in an appropriate institution.” Ashton also insisted on Tymoshenko’s right of unrestricted access to her lawyers and encouraged the Ukrainian authorities to allow visits by family members.
As a sign of their political will to clarify the situation, the High Representative asked the Ukrainian authorities to allow the EU Ambassador, accompanied by independent medical specialists, to visit Tymoshenko in prison. “The EU Ambassador has been instructed, pending agreement of the authorities, to travel to Kharkiv at the earliest opportunity,” the statement said.
The treatment of Yulia Tymoshenko was also raised by Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle at a meeting in Brussels with the First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, Valeriy Khoroshkovsky.
The Commissioner reminded the First Deputy Prime Minister that it was crucial for Ukraine to demonstrate a solid commitment to the rule of law and democratic values in order to facilitate further steps towards the signature and ratification of the Association Agreement. He underlined that Ukraine should make every effort to dispel concerns about politically motivated trials and the selective use of justice as part of a broader judiciary reform. In this context, he also stressed the need for Ukraine to respect fully the legal and human rights of defendants and detainees, including their medical care. (ENPI Info Centre)
Read more
Ashton statement
Füle press release
Delegation of the EU to Ukraine
ENPI Info Centre webpage - Ukraine


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