Mission of the Human Rights Ambassador, François Zimeray (April 18 to 19, 2012)



Human Rights Ambassador, François Zimeray, attended the hearing in the trial of Yulia Tymoshenko which opened in Kharkiv yesterday morning in Ukraine.

Following the trial he travelled to the Kachanivska penal colony in order to try and meet with Ms. Tymoshenko for the second time. He was received by the head of the prison who informed him that his request had been denied. The ambassador then requested that a letter be given to her but his request was denied. The head of the prison also refused to answer Mr. Zimeray’s questions regarding Ms. Tymoshenko’s state of health.

France again warns Ukraine against using the justice system for political purposes. Previous trials have been marked by serious infringements of the rights of the defense, as protected by international standards. We warn Ukraine against committing any further violations. Our concerns relate not just to the functioning of the judiciary but also to the detention conditions and the treatment of detainees, whether with respect to Yulia Tymoshenko or to three of her former ministers who have already been sentenced: Yuri Lutsenko, Heorhiy Filipchuk and Valery Ivashchenko.

France again urges the Ukrainian government to ensure full respect for human rights and its international commitments notably those made to the Council of Europe, as well as the commitments that it renewed at the EU-Ukraine Summit in December 2011.