Platini’s Shame: Calls from Germany for Tymoshenko’s release before Euro 2012
Germany’s Human Rights Ombudsperson Markus Lönung has railed the Head of UEFA for taking no action over the Tymoshenko case as the former Prime Minister and opposition leader is returned to prison. He told the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung that the head of UEFA, Michel Platini had kept his head low where the subject of Ukraine’s political issues whereas, the German Human Rights Ombudsperson says, he should have used all UEFA’s power to ensure that the seriously ill Ms Tymoshenko was released from prison before Euro 2012 begins.
Politicians have expressed fears that President Yanukovych will use the championship to try to present himself in a positive light. Elmar Brok, MEP, says that the German Football Union and UEFA should understand that Mr Yanukovych must be given the stage and that the event must not legitimize crushing the opposition.
Volker Bek, Head of the Greens in the Bundestag called on the German Chancellor to make a point of visiting Ms Tymoshenko in prison before going to the stadium, and called for vocal criticism from sportspeople, officials and the German Government.
Michel Platini has rejected criticism saying that UEFA is not a political organization. He called the championship first and foremost a big festival during which contacts are established and developed, discussions held and views exchanged at all levels.
The former Prime Minister returned to jail on Sunday after she refused treatment for severe back pain at a state-run hospital.
"First Tymoshenko was secretly taken to a hospital at night on Friday… and then on Sunday she was suddenly returned to jail, " her political party Batkivshchyna said in a statement. Tymoshenko’s lawyer, Serhiy Vlasenko called the back-and-forth shuttling "absurd."
Tymoshenko previously said she did not trust any state-appointed doctors. She was taken to a hospital in Kharkiv belonging to the state-owned railway company, located in the same city as her prison.
German doctors who examined Tymoshenko for her herniated disc recommended urgent treatment in a specialized clinic. They inspected the Kharkiv hospital where she was briefly moved, but have made no public statements.
The State Penitentiary Service said that Tymoshenko was moved back to prison Sunday because she "categorically" refused treatment at the clinic.
From a report at Deutsche Welle Photo below of Kachanivska Prison Colony