The European Court of Human Rights has found that jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is receiving "adequate medical treatment in an appropriate institution.

"The European Court of Human Rights decided on 31 May 2012 to lift the interim measure indicated to the Ukrainian Government, under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, on 15 March 2012 to ensure that former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko receive adequate medical treatment in an appropriate institution. It found that the Government had complied with the measure. At the same time, the Court refused to grant a second Rule 39 request submitted by the applicant on 25 April 2012 in which she asked the Court to require the Government to permit the applicant to be treated in the Charité Hospital in Germany.

Tymoshenko's application was lodged with the Court on 10 August 2011. In her original application she alleged, in particular: that her criminal prosecution and detention had been politically motivated; that there had been no judicial review of the lawfulness of her detention in Kyiv SIZO no. 13; and, that her detention conditions there were inadequate, with no medical care provided for her numerous health problems. She relied principally on Article 3 (prohibition of degrading treatment or punishment), Article 5 (right to liberty and security) and Article 18 (limitation on use of restrictions on rights) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The application was communicated to the Ukrainian Government on 15 December 2011.

On 15 March 2012 the Court, on the basis of the information available to it at the time, made an interim measure to the Ukrainian Government, requesting them to ensure that the applicant received adequate medical treatment in an appropriate institution. At the same time, the Court communicated further questions to the Government, namely questions relating to the medical treatment and conditions in the prison in Kharkiv.

On 4 April 2012 the applicant was offered a transfer to the Central Clinical Hospital of the State Railway. From 13-15 April 2012 German doctors from the Charité Hospital examined the applicant and visited the premises of this hospital.

On 20 April 2012 the Court invited the Government to inform the Court what steps had been taken to comply with the terms of the interim measure applied on 15 March 2012. On the same day at 11pm the applicant was transferred to the Central Clinical Hospital of the State Railway. In the course of the transfer, the applicant received bruises on her stomach and on her arms. She refused to receive any medical treatment because, she contended, of the inappropriateness of that hospital for her needs. She announced a hunger strike in protest at violence by the prison’s guards and her forced transfer.

On 22 April 2012 the applicant was returned to prison. On the next day she filed a complaint with the Kharkiv Prosecutor Office about her forceed transfer to the hospital.
The prosecutor confirmed that force had been used by the prison staff but decided not to investigate the case further. On 25 April 2012 the Ukrainian ombudsperson made a 2 public statement on the applicant’s health after the ombudsman’s representative had visited the applicant on 24 April 2012 and confirmed the existence of bruises on the applicant’s body.

On 9 May 2012 the applicant was again transferred to the Central Clinical Hospital of the State Railway where she started medical treatment under the supervision of a German neurologist. On the same day she ended her 20-day hunger strike.

On 12 May 2012 the applicant’s legal representative stated that the applicant had been under permanent surveillance even while undergoing medical procedures and that the prison authorities had published the full report on the applicant’s medical history.

On 21 May 2012 the Government made a formal request to the Court to lift the interim measure. They stated, inter alia, that the applicant was receiving treatment appropriate to her complaints in an appropriate institutionalized setting.

The Court noted that the applicant is currently receiving treatment in the Central Clinical Hospital, and that she is being supervised by an outside neurologist. In the circumstances, given the threshold applied in cases involving Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, the Court decided that the interim measure should be lifted. The Court also requested the respondent Government to submit further observations on the admissibility and merits of the case including the issues of the forced transfer to the hospital in the night of 20 April 2012 and the permanent surveillance.

The Court remains seized of the matter, and it will be open to the applicant to make a fresh request under Rule 39 if the circumstances require. The Court will deal with the substantive issues raised by the case once it has received the parties’ written observations," the full text of the judgment says.


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