18 appeals for Tymoshenko’s release in the last week
A banner unfurled at the Euro 2012 Championship match in Kharkiv.
Dzerkalo Tyzhnya reports that from 22 April there were 18 appeals from prominent political, civic, cultural figures and sportsmen calling for the release of imprisoned former Prime Minister and opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.
As reported here, on 22 April 30 prominent figures signed an appeal to the President in which they wrote: “The clear mistake of the justice system which has resulted in the politically motivated imprisonment of Yulia Tymoshenko must be rectified as soon as possible. An example of how the results of selective justice can be removed was your decision of 7 April to pardon Yury Lutsenko and Georgy Filipchuk”.
The appeal was signed by Iryna Bekeshkina; Taras Voznyak; Oleksandr Chernenko; Oleh Rybachuk; Viktoria Syumar and others.
On that same day twenty public figures from the Cherkasy oblast, including deputies from local councils, artists, writers thanked Yanukovych for pardoning Yury Lutsenko, and noted that the public were now awaiting the next step: “the release of Yulia Tymoshenko, imprisoned for political motives”.
On 23 April 16 members of the legal community, practising lawyers and academics wrote asking for Tymoshenko’s pardon. They stated that the actions which she was convicted of can only be subject to political responsibility, not criminal.
On 24 April several dozen prominent Kharkiv residents called for the President to “show mercy and according to the Christian tradition before Easter take the decision to free Yulia Tymoshenko and also ensure her full legal and political rehabilitation.”
Soon afterwards appeals were addressed from people in four oblasts – Transcarpathian, Donetsk, Zaporizhya and Lviv oblasts.
On 25 April the Lviv and Lutsk City Councils voted for a resolution calling for Tymoshenko’s release.
On 26 April over 100 sportsmen from those who took part in the Paralympics asked the President to free Tymoshenko. They included 36 world champions, 20 champions of the Paralympics; one Hero of Ukraine and others.
An initiative group from Kyiv including religious, academic and political figures have also called for the former Prime Minister’s release.
There were similar calls from prominent civic and political figures in the Volyn, Zhytomyr, Khmelnytski and Kirovohrad oblasts.
A Declaration on the Situation in Ukraine, passed at a meeting of the International Union of Young Democrats in Helsinki also calls for Tymoshenko’s release.
As previously reported, a group of women MPs and some Ukrainian diplomats have also asked Viktor Yanukovych to pardon Yulia Tymoshenko. The call from the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union can be seen on the UHHRU site or here