German Human Rights Commissioner: Tymoshenko should be released


Markus Löning, the German Federal Government’s Human Rights Commissioner calls the prosecution of former Prime Minister and opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko politically motivated. He says that because of her state of health, she should be released immediately.

“I have serious doubts as to whether the trial of Tymoshenko was run in accordance with the norms of a law-based country. There is a strong sense that the trial was, at least, politically motivated”.

He doubts that Yulia Tymoshenko’s health allows her to take part in the proceedings (the hearings into her appeal against her conviction on the “gas deal” are underway at present – translator), and says that the Ukrainian law enforcement bodies should postpone the hearings until Ms Tymoshenko is found sufficiently well to attend.  The hearings should be suspended and Ms Tymoshenko hospitalized, he says.  “This is a about humane behaviour”, he says.

“It is hard to avoid the feeling that Ukraine’s President is dragging the country backwards, into Soviet times”, Markus Löning told Deutsche Welle commenting on the criminal prosecutions of several former government officials. He stresses that in a democratic country, the views of the minority are considered. Yet in Ukraine he feels at present there is a Soviet type of thinking where the person at the top pushes his decisions by force, considering neither the opposition nor civil society. He reminded Kyiv that Germany demands transparency in all trials of opposition politicians and that observers are allowed to see them.

He call for the court proceedings to be started afresh if independent observers find that they did not meet international legal standards.

From the report at, , 15605735, 00.html

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