Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Allegations of Tymoshenko violence 'deeply concerning'

26th April 2012

News from Yulia Tymoshenko's lawyer that, on the 20th April, she was forcefully and brutally removed from her prison cell and transported to a state hospital against her will, is deeply concerning and requires explanation, Pawel Kowal MEP, chairman of the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee, and Charles Tannock MEP, European Conservatives and Reformists' foreign affairs spokesman, said today.

The former Ukrainian Prime Minister has been on hunger strike since the 20th April.

Pawel Kowal (ECR, PL), who became the first MEP to visit Mrs Tymoshenko in jail earlier this month, said:

"I am deeply concerned with the latest information received from the penal colony Kachanivska on the use of violence against Yulia Tymoshenko. It sheds a negative light on the methods used in the Ukrainian penitentiary system that are far from European standards to which Ukraine is aspiring.

"In the light of recent developments I would like to appeal for an independent board of doctors to conduct a medical examination of the former Prime Minister. The most important thing in the current situation is to immediately provide a possibility for an examination of Yulia Tymoshenko, by doctors, whom she trusts and who can deliver credible information on her health condition.

"It is crucial for the Ukrainian authorities to ensure the physical safety of the Former Prime Minister, especially in the light of recent concerns expressed by public opinion in EU countries. I clearly underlined this position today to members of the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's office. I want to emphasize that in the current situation everyone of good will should focus on finding a good legal and political solution.

"I urge the Ukrainian authorities to find a solution out of the situation acceptable by all sides and guarantee the physical safety of other detainees. Moreover, I will invite the Ukrainian authorities to provide a clarification of the situation."

Dr Charles Tannock, said:

"These allegations of brutality are extremely grave. They must be investigated by the Ukrainian authorities and those responsible should be prosecuted.

"Yulia Tymoshenko's health is our utmost concern. She must be given access to an independent medical facility.

"For those of us who want to see Ukraine become an EU member state one day, it is extremely disappointing to see it harm its own standing by the manner in which Mrs Tymoshenko has been treated."
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