Nina Karpachova: Yulia Tymoshenko’s right to liberty must be restored

12:02, 09 August 2013
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Nina Karpachova, the first Ombudsman of Ukraine and Board Member of the European Ombudsman Institute, has issued an appeal to Viktor Yanukovych calling for the restoration of Yulia Tymoshenko's right to liberty and the unconditional execution of the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in her case, according to the Official web site of Yulia Tymoshenko.

"I have to appeal to you with a request of your personal intervention in the case, which has become the prime example of the real human rights and freedoms situation in Ukraine," Nina Karpachova said in her appeal, which was posted on her website.

Recalling her fourteen years of work as the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, Nina Karpachova noted that due to the delay in the effective implementation of the necessary reforms in the system of law-enforcement and judiciary for many years, cases of injustice, illegal deprivation of liberty, the abuse of the right to arrest, torture, miscarriage of justice, abuse of power, and intolerable conditions in prisons have turned to be wide-scale and systematic.

"The loss of independence and impartiality by the courts has been most brutally manifested in selective criminal justice against the opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko and members of her government. If the arrest and imprisonment of the former Prime Minister of Ukraine was ‘arbitrary and illegal’, as found in the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights, what then can be said about the tens of thousands of imprisoned and convicted ordinary citizens of Ukraine whose rights are constantly violated!" she underscored.

The first ombudsman pointed out that as a result of the monitoring carried out between January and May 2011 by the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Kyiv pre-trial detention center where there were nearly 4000 inmates in the presence of 2850 seats, she made a special appeal to the leadership of the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine on elimination of brutal violations of constitutional rights of women and children to health care, decent treatment and life in the pre-trial detention centers. "The situation has also been aggravated due to the fact that tens of thousands of prisoners are denied the right to use the Law of Ukraine on amnesty for the third consecutive year!" she said.

Nina Karpachova also said that immediately after the arrest of Yulia Tymoshenko, on 8 August 2011 she officially addressed the Pechersk District Court Judge Rodion Kireev with a proposal to revise his own decision about her arrest, which even could not be a subject for appeal, but received a negative response. "Procedural violations listed in my letter to the judge Rodion Kireev were later analyzed and reflected in the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights," she added.

In her opinion, the case of Yulia Tymoshenko has combined probably all possible violations inherent in the Ukrainian justice and law enforcement system. "These are the nonstop daily hearings, deprivation of the opportunity to have effective legal defense, and the illegal use of arrest as a preventive measure, and interrogations in the cell of the Kyiv pre-trial detention center as a manifestation of inhumane treatment, and the "field hearings" on 7-8 December 2011 in the prison cell while she was provided health care, and 24 hour video surveillance by the hidden cameras, carried out by male officers, and illegal online publication of the video materials with the purpose to discredit her. And, finally, use of violence and beating Yulia Tymoshenko on 20.04.2012 by the officers of the penitentiary service during her forced removal from Kachanivska prison at night, the effects of which were documented by me personally," Nina Karpachova said.

"On July 31, 2013 the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights of 30.04.2013 in the case of Yulia Tymoshenko came into force. Unfortunately, there have been made no any appropriate steps to restore the violated rights of Yulia Tymoshenko and she remains behind bars. Furthermore, the presence of other criminal cases against her cannot be a ground for non-enforcement of the judgment of the European Court, as there are principles of the rule of law and the presumption of innocence in Ukraine," said the first ombudsman.

Nina Karpachova is convinced that the unconditional execution of the European Court of Human Rights’ judgment and the release of Yulia Tymoshenko will demonstrate the clear position of the leadership of Ukraine with regard to the irreversible movement of Ukraine towards international standards of human rights and freedoms. "The illegal detention of the former Prime Minister of Ukraine casts a shadow on the long-awaited ongoing reforms and remains one of the key problems in relations with the European Union, and an insurmountable barrier for the European integration of Ukraine. The release of Yulia Tymoshenko will demonstrate to the country and the world the end of selective justice and strengthening of the rule of law in the law-enforcement practice of Ukraine," she stressed.

She said the new Criminal Procedure Code and the Convention on the Protection of Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms form a basis for the release of Yulia Tymoshenko and the restoration of her constitutional right to liberty and a fair trial.

"I appeal to you as the Guarantor of human rights and freedoms in Ukraine, and, eventually, as a wise man with the following request: under the Constitution of Ukraine, the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine and the Convention for the Protection of Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms, and the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to show good political will and take all possible measures, including clemency, for immediate execution of the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights and restoration of the violated rights of Yulia Tymoshenko, her release from serving the sentence and giving her possibilities to receive necessary treatment abroad," Nina Karpachova said.

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