Ukrainian World Congress expresses grave concern over political prosecutions



The following is a letter outlining concerns over selective prosecution of members of the political opposition and also attempts to ban Yulia Tymoshenko from even travelling to meetings within Ukraine

The list of recipients is long and placed under the letter  (apologies for the format - it is taken from a PDF given on an Ukrainska Pravda article)

Dear Madams:
Dear Sirs:

Re: Prosecutions of Political Opponents in Ukraine

As previously raised with the international community by the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) in its letters dated 12 January 2011, [1] the UWC is gravely concerned about the continuing prosecutions of political opponents by Ukrainian government authorities.

The UWC also believes that the ongoing attempts by these authorities to ban Ms Yulia Tymoshenko from travelling, most recently to meetings in Lviv, Ukraine, are aimed at undermining the Ukrainian opposition in the run-up to the next Parliamentary elections.

Therefore, the UWC fully endorses the following statements in the European Parliament resolution of 9 June 2011 on Ukraine: the cases of Yulia Tymoshenko and other members of the former government (the "Resolution") to the effect that the European Parliament:

Stresses the importance of ensuring the utmost transparency in investigations, prosecutions and trials, and warns against any use of criminal law as a tool to achieve political ends;

Is concerned about the increase in selective prosecution of figures from the political opposition in Ukraine as well as the disproportionality of measures applied,
particularly in the cases of Ms Tymoshenko and Mr Lutsenko, former Interior Minister, and notes that Mr Lutsenko has been in custody since 26 December 2010;
expresses its support for the Ukrainian Human Rights Commissioner,  Nina Karpachova, who has asked the Ukrainian Prosecutor General to consider the
possibility of applying preventive measures that do not involve detention; Reminds the Ukrainian authorities that the principle of collective responsibility for

the decisions of the government does not permit the prosecution of individual members of the government for decisions that were taken collegially;

Stresses that ongoing investigations of prominent Ukrainian political leaders should not preclude them from actively participating in the political life of the country,
meeting voters and travelling to international meetings; calls, therefore, on the Ukrainian authorities to lift the travel ban, both domestically and internationally, on
Yulia Tymoshenko and other key political figures;

Underlines the fact that strengthening of the rule of law and a credible fight against corruption are essential not only for the conclusion of the Association Agreement and
the deepening of EU-Ukraine relations in general, but also for the consolidation of democracy in Ukraine;[2] [...].

 In this respect, the UWC also agrees with the following:

a) The 26 May 2011 Statement by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission Catherine Ashton regarding recent developments in the case against Ms Yulia Tymoshenko: “We note the danger of provoking any perception that judicial measures are used selectively, and we stress the importance of ensuring the maximum transparency of investigations, prosecutions and trials. We consider these principles especially important in a country with which we intend to enter into a deeper contractual relationship built upon political association, and we recall that Ukraine currently holds the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.”3;

 b) The 9 June 2011 declaration by the European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger that: “We expect that Ukraine will change their [judicial] system, and will have impartial justice, which is guaranteed by the Consitution.”4; and

 c) The April 2011 Freedom House Report on the State of Democracy and Human Rights in Ukraine recommending that President Viktor Yanukovych and his government: “Halt politically motivated prosecutions carried out by the prosecutor general’s office against former leading political figures, while maintaining a credible campaign to root out corruption and foster accountability”.5

As (i) Chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe until November 2011, (ii) co-host of EURO 2012, and (iii) Chair of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in 2013, the eyes of the world will be upon Ukraine for several years to come. Ukraine will, in many respects, be Europe’s representative to the world.

Therefore, the UWC encourages the international community to significantly increase pressure on the Ukrainian government authorities to ensure that: (i) they do not undermine such fundamental values as human rights, democracy, and free and fair elections; and that (ii) Ukraine fulfills its international commitments and complies with the terms of the Resolution.

The Ukrainian World Congress is an international coordinating body for Ukrainian communities in the diaspora representing the interests of over twenty (20) million Ukrainians, with member organizations in over thirty (30) countries. Founded in 1967, the Ukrainian World Congress was incorporated in 2000 in Canada and recognized in 2003 as a non-governmental organization by the United Nations Economic and Social Council with special consultative status.



Eugene Czolij




17 June 2011

His Excellency Ban Ki-moon

Secretary-General of the United Nations

UN Headquarters

First Avenue at 46th Street

New York, NY 10017


His Excellency Jerzy Buzek
President of the European Parliament

Rue Wiertz 60
1047 Brussels

j erzy.buzek@,

His Excellency Herman Van Rompuy
President of the European Council
Rue de la Loi 175
B-1048 Brussels

His Excellency Jose Manuel Barroso
President of the European Commission

Rue de la Loi 200
1049 Brussels

His Excellency Thorbjarn Jagland
Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Avenue de l’Europe
F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex

His Excellency Mevlut £avu§oglu
President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the
Council of Europe

TBMM B Block Ust Zemin 4
Banko Bakanliklar, Ankara


Her Excellency Catherine Ashton
High Representative of the European Union
for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and
Vice President of the European Commission

Rue de la Loi 200,
1049 Brussels

His Excellency Ambassador Stefan Fule

European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy

Rue de la Loi 200
B-1049 Brussels


The Honourable Pawel Kowal

Chair of the European Parliament Delegation to

the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee

Bat. Willy Brandt 02M107
Rue Wiertz 60
B-1047 Brussels

His Excellency Audronius Azubalis

OSCE Chairperson-in-Office

OSCE Secretariat

Wallnerstrasse 6

A-1010 Vienna


renata. lazdin@urm .lt

Her Excellency Navanethem Pillay
UN High Commissioner for
Human Rights
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10

His Excellency Ambassador Janez Lenarcic

OSCE Director of the

Office for Democratic Institutions and

Human Rights

Public Affairs Unit

Aleje Ujazdowskie 19

00-557 Warsaw



The Honourable Heidi Hautala

Chair of the European Parliament Subcommittee on

Human Rights

Bat. Altiero Spinelli


Rue Wiertz 60

B-1047 Brussels


His Excellency Ambassador Thomas Hammarberg
Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights
Avenue de l’Europe
F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex

Mr Salil Shetty

Amnesty International Secretary General

International Secretariat
1 Easton Street
London WC1X 0DW

Ms Erica Lally

Europe and Central Asia Division
Human Rights Watch Associate

350 Fifth Avenue, 34 Fl.
New York, NY 10118

Mr David J. Kramer

Freedom House Executive Director

1301 Connecticut Ave. NW Floor 6
Washington, District of Columbia 20036


[1]  See enclosed UWC letters

[2]  See

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