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10 April, 2013 09:00   ▪  

Freedom House hopes that Lutsenko`s pardon will soon be followed by that of Tymoshenko

Freedom House welcomed the pardon of several former government officials in Ukraine and called on President Viktor Yanukovych to take similar action on Tymoshenko.

“Sunday’s pardon was an important first step by President Yanukovych,” David J. Kramer, president of Freedom House, said. “I’m glad to see Mr. Lutsenko, Mr. Filipchuk and others finally released.  But Tymoshenko’s release is no less important.”

“The decision by the government of President Viktor Yanukovych to pardon officials from the previous Orange government on what many view as politically motivated charges was influenced by many factors.  The European Union (EU) had indicated that progress towards a partnership arrangement with Ukraine depended on the release of political prisoners, and Freedom House urges the EU to leverage Ukraine’s interest in concluding that agreement to press for Tymoshenko's release. It should also urge the Yanukovych government to reverse a notable deterioration in democratic governance, specifically freedom of expression and freedom of the press, judicial independence and last October’s flawed parliamentary elections,” states Freedom House on its website.

“We hope that the pardons on Sunday will soon be followed by the pardon of Tymoshenko as part of a larger effort to put Ukraine back on a track to a democratic, European future,” Kramer added.

READ ALSO: Andrew Wilson: The Lutsenko Pardon: Enough to Appease the EU?


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