Inhuman treatment of Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko

His Excellency Eamon Gilmore
OSCE Chairperson-in-Office
OSCE Secretariat

Her Excellency Navanethem Pillay
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

His Excellency Ambassador Janez Lenarcic
OSCE Director of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights
Public Affairs Unit

Her Excellency Barbara Lochbihler
Chair of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights

His Excellency Ambassador Nils Muižnieks
Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights

Mr. Salil Shetty
Amnesty International Secretary General International Secretariat

Ms. Erica Lally
Europe and Central Asia Division
Human Rights Watch Associate

Mr. David J. Kramer
Freedom House Executive Director

Dear Madams:
Dear Sirs:

Re: Inhuman treatment of Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko

The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) is appalled at the inhuman treatment of Ukraine’s former
Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, by Ukraine’s governing authorities.
On 24 April 2012, her lawyer, Mr. Serhiy Vlasenko, made public a hand-written statement by
Ms. Tymoshenko to the effect that she was forcefully and brutally removed from her prison cell on the
night of 20 April 2012 and transported to a state hospital against her will, and without the presence of her
attorney (
In her statement (, Ms. Tymoshenko says that:
After having received conclusions of the German doctors I informed the colony’s head in writing,
and supervising prosecutor and deputy minister of health verbally that, taking into account the
contents of the conclusions, I was unable to go to the hospital until I meet with my defense
counsel. We agreed that the transfer to hospital would take place on Monday after I talk to
Serhiy Vlasenko.
But around 21:00, my neighbour was made to go out of the prison cell, and later three sturdy men
came into the cell. They approached my bed, threw a bed-sheet over me and began to drag me off
the bed three together applying brutal force. In pain and despair I started to defend myself as
I could and got a strong blow in my stomach through the bed-sheet, they wrung my arms and legs,
lifted me and dragged in the bed-sheet into the street. I thought these were the last minutes of my
life. In unbearable pain and fear I started to cry and call out for help, but no help came. At some
moment I fell unconscious because of awful pain and came back to consciousness in a hospital
ward. Being extremely stressed, I refused to talk to anyone until I see my defense counsels.
The next day I refused to take food. But there was no meeting with my defense counsels.

Ms. Tymoshenko has been on a hunger strike since 20 April 2012 to protest what is happening in Ukraine
and the treatment she has been receiving in prison.

On 25 April 2012, the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Nina Karpachova,
made the following statement (
The Ombudsman of Ukraine says that such a convoy of Yulia Tymoshenko is an inhuman
treatment of the prisoner and may be qualified as torture according to the Article 3 of the
European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms as well as
to the provisions of the UN Convention against torture and the Instruction on the organization of
security in penal institutions of closed type.
In this regard the Commissioner for Human Rights demands:
1. From the Prosecutor General to open the criminal proceedings against those who were involved
in the fact of the brutal treatment of Yulia Tymoshenko during her convoy from the colony and to
suspend them from service;
2. From the Head of the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine to urgently provide all the required
medical treatment according to the decision of the European Court of Human Rights and the
Conclusions of the Ukrainian and independent foreign doctors.
In light of the above, the UWC specifically calls upon the international community to:
1) demand that Ms. Tymoshenko be provided with immediate treatment by independent medical
experts in a specialized clinic;
2) remind Ukraine’s governing authorities of the resolutions and policies passed by international
institutions and the demands by individual nation states (i) that Ms. Tymoshenko be properly
treated and (ii) that opposition members (including Ms. Tymoshenko) be freed and allowed to
participate in Ukraine’s October 2012 Parliamentary elections; and
3) warn Ukraine’s governing authorities that there will be personal consequences to them (e.g. denial
of entry visas for individuals and their families) of ignoring the aforementioned resolutions,
policies and demands of international institutions and individual nation states.
The UWC is an international coordinating body for Ukrainian communities in the diaspora representing the
interests of over 20 million Ukrainians. The UWC has member organizations in 32 countries and ties with
Ukrainians in 14 additional countries. Founded in 1967 as a non-profit corporation, the UWC was
recognized in 2003 as a non-governmental organization (NGO) by the United Nations Economic and
Social Council with special consultative status.

Eugene Czolij

145 Evans Avenue, Suite 207, Toronto, Ontario M8Z 5X8 Canada
Tel: 416.323.3020 Fax: 416.323.3250 E-mail:
Skype: Website:

c.c. His Excellency Viktor Yanukovych, President of Ukraine
Her Excellency Nina Karpachova, Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights
Ukrainian World Congress Member Organizations