In its resolution adopted on May 24 the European Parliament has called on the Ukrainian authorities to release "figures imprisoned on political grounds."

The EP "reaffirms its concerns about the judicial proceedings against former and current high government officials, which were not conducted in accordance with European standards of fairness, impartiality, transparency and independence, and called on the Ukrainian authorities to distinguish between political and criminal responsibility and to change the existing criminal penal code accordingly."

In this respect the resolution notes that stresses that the democratic struggle for political decisions must take place in parliament, with participation by voters in free elections, and must not be destroyed by personally or politically motivated acts of criminal prosecution and manipulated judgments in the criminal courts.

The resolution "stresses that the current problems in relations between Ukraine and the European Union can only be solved on the basis of a clear willingness on the part of the Ukrainian authorities to carry out and implement the necessary reforms, in particular of the legal and judicial system, with the aim of full adherence to the principles of democracy and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, minority rights and the rule of law."

In this respect the EP "calls on the Ukrainian authorities to clarify the situation of prisoners sentenced on politically motivated grounds before the start of the election campaign", meaning the unconditional immediate release of all prisoners sentenced on politically motivated grounds, including leaders of the opposition.

Going in details, the EP "condemns the use of force by prison guards against Yulia Tymoshenko, and recalls the obligation of Ukraine to examine promptly and impartially any complaints of torture or other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment." The EP also urges the Ukrainian authorities to ensure full respect for the right of all prisoners sentenced on politically motivated grounds, including Ms Tymoshenko, Mr Lutsenko and Mr Ivashchenko, to adequate medical assistance in an appropriate institution, for their right of unrestricted access to their lawyers and for the right to be visited by relatives and other people such as the EU ambassador.

The resolution calls on the Ukrainian authorities to guarantee the impartiality and transparency of the cassation process in Ms Tymoshenko’s case, which should take place in line with the fair and just legal standards and practices common in Europe.


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