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6 September, 2013 18:51   ▪  

Expert: The Council of Europe’s report reminds Ukrainian government of the “Tymoshnenko factor”

The CoE Anti-Torture Committee’s report confirming that Yulia Tymoshenko was beaten in April 2012 may serve as an additional factor in pressure on the Ukrainian government. This is how Volodymyr Fesenko, Head of the Penta Centre for Applied Political Research comments on why the CoE published the report now

On September 5, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment disclosed the report on the visit of its mission to Ukraine in November 2012. This report is the first document confirming Yulia Tymoshenko’s active resistance against being transported to the Ukrainian Railway hospital and the government’s attempts to stifle investigation of her complaints about being beaten. Ukrainian officials have not provided arguments to justify these actions in correspondence with the Anti-Torture Committee.

In response to this report, the State Penitentiary Service stated that the issue of physical force applied by the prison staff to Tymoshenko was looked at by the European Court of Human Rights which “found no violation of Art. 3 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (banning torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment) regarding the statements of the beating of Tymoshenko”. 

Yulia Tymoshenko stated that she was beaten during transportation to the Ukrainian Railway central hospital from Kachanivka prison on April 20, 2012. She filed an application regarding this fact to the Kharkiv Oblast Prosecutor. Later, Prosecutor Hennadiy Tiurin explained that examination did not confirm the facts mentioned in her statement, so a criminal case would not be launched on this.

READ ALSO: The Tymoshenko Factor

When Nina Karpachova, then Ombudswoman, met with Tymoshenko on April 25, she confirmed that there were injuries on the ex-premier’s body and mentioned this in her expert opinion. Also, she showed photos with hematomas on Tymoshenko’s body. Prosecutor General’s Office accused Karpachova of providing misleading opinion.

“Apparently, Europeans feel that there are absolutely no guarantees of Tymoshenko’s potential treatment in Germany, and this (the report – Ed.) is used as a mechanism of pressure on the Ukrainian government,” Fesenko comments on why the Anti-Torture Committee released its report now.

 “This is a tool of pressure against Yanukovych,” comments Viktor Nebozhenko, Director of the Ukrainian Barometer sociological service. “He has mentioned a possible referendum (to ask Ukrainians whether they would prefer Ukraine to join the Free Trade Area of the EU or the Customs Union. Yanukovych mentioned this in his interview for several biggest Ukrainian TV channels on August 30 – Ed.)  which neither Putin nor Brussels like because it’s sort of a Russian roulette – public opinion can title in any direction which may have very serious implications. This will be ineffective, even wrong, given the government’s access to administrative leverage. Now, the West is turning to the “Tymoshenko factor” thus letting Yanukovych know that they will not quit attempts to use the Vilnius political and legal basis to free Tymoshenko,” he believes. “Each party (Ukrainian and European – Ed.) wants to come to the signing of the Association Agreement in a winning position, with weightier arguments.

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