OSCE PA democracy and human rights committee discusses Yulia Tymoshenko case
The Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly will discuss at its annual session the case of unlawfully imprisoned former Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko, according to Official web site of Yulia Tymoshenko. Coskun Coruz, the rapporteur on Ukraine, visited Yulia Tymoshenko in the Kharkiv hospital where she is getting medical treatment on July 4, a day before the start of the annual session.
During their nearly two-hour meeting, Coskun Coruz and Yulia Tymoshenko discussed the importance of an independent judiciary and prison reform in Ukraine. "I appreciate the Ukrainian authorities allowing me to visit Ms. Tymoshenko and I hope this visit is the start of Ukraine showing a permanent commitment to its OSCE values and dialogue with the OSCE," Coskun Coruz said after leaving the hospital.
"I have positive feelings about the changes to the criminal procedure, but I have great concerns about the case of Tymoshenko. There should be transparency in the whole case," Coskun Coruz said.
The 21st Annual Session of the OSCE PA "OSCE: Region of Change" is being held in Monaco on July 5-9. The agenda includes a vote on a resolution regarding Ukraine’s upcoming chairmanship of the OSCE.
Matteo Mecacci (Italy), the principal sponsor of the resolution on Ukraine, believes it must be stressed to the Ukrainian authorities that there should not be any political prisoners in the OSCE area. In the resolution, the OSCE PA "calls on Ukraine to guarantee a functioning, independent, and transparent judiciary by fulfilling its OSCE Human Dimension commitments, particularly with regard to the effective right to fair trial and the respect of the principle of equality of arms in criminal proceedings, as well as to adequate treatment of convicted persons."
It also calls on the Ukrainian authorities to reinforce the position of the ombudsperson, and to ensure that the post is occupied by an "individual with relevant experience in human rights."
The OSCE PA emphasizes is the resolution that "a country that holds the Chairmanship of the OSCE has a particular responsibility to provide a good example with regard to respecting these commitments."
The organization also urges Ukraine to resolve these issues of rule of law, human rights and democracy, in line with its OSCE Human Dimension commitments, before taking over the OSCE chairmanship in 2013. This includes amending the Criminal Code and Constitution, and specifically revising articles 364 and 365 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine in line with Council of Europe’s standards, as well as reforming the Prosecutor’s Office, devolving its excessive powers to other relevant institutions.
The OSCE PA also urges the Ukrainian authorities "to ensure the health, and to guarantee the medical treatment of a number of former government officials currently in prison, including Lutsenko, Ivashchenko, and Tymoshenko, and to allow, without preconditions, medical examinations and, if necessary, treatment by independent doctors outside the prison" and "to allow access to the OSCE, including members of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, to Tymoshenko and other members of the former Ukrainian Government currently incarcerated."