• Germany edition
 
Germany slams Ukraine for political crackdown
Photo: DPA

Germany slams Ukraine for political crackdown

Published: 13 Apr 2012 10:55 GMT+02:00
Updated: 13 Apr 2012 10:55 GMT+02:00

Germany's top human rights official Thursday slammed as "unacceptable" Ukraine's crackdown on former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and other opposition members after a visit to the country.

The chances of her being brought to Berlin for medical treatment for severe back problems would appear slim, despite the recommendation of a doctor at the Charité hospital who visited her.

Markus Löning told reporters after returning to Berlin that the jail sentences imposed on Tymoshenko and former interior minister Yuriy Lutsenko smacked of a "major settling of scores with ex-members of the government".

Löning called their imprisonment "unacceptable and inhumane", accused Ukrainian authorities of withholding key medical information and treatment from them, and urged their immediate release.

He said he had met during his three-day stay with Tymoshenko's daughter, relatives of the convicted former environment minister Georgiy Filipchuk and Lutsenko, who he said had long not been told he had hepatitis and was denied treatment.

He also spoke with former defence minister Valeriy Ivashchenko, who Thursday became the third minister in the pro-Western cabinet of Tymoshenko to be jailed in the two years since her presidential rival Viktor Yanukovych took office.

Ivashchenko was sentenced to five years in prison on abuse of office charges, which Löning called "fabricated allegations".

Tymoshenko has condemned the convictions as part of a vendetta by the new government against her and her allies. The cases have also stalled the ex-Soviet republic's drive to one day join the European Union.

The former Orange Revolution leader Tymoshenko herself was sentenced to seven years in jail in October for signing a 2009 natural gas agreement with Russia that allegedly cost Ukraine about $200 million.

Prosecutors have since extended the charge sheet against her to include alleged earlier crimes and she faces a new trial for embezzlement and tax fraud next week.

AFP/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

11:39 April 13, 2012 by raandy
Little has changed from the elections in Russia to the corruption and crack downs east of the Molotov-Ribbentrop line.
12:24 April 13, 2012 by jg.
I suppose when you help pay for a revolution to install candidates chosen by Western politicians, it is terrible that the electorate has the bad manners to elect (again) the very same people you had removed.

Now a court has finally looked into just how the "Gas Princess" came to control the entire wholesale gas market in Ukraine in the 1990s and how she amassed a personal fortune reputed to be in excess of 3 billion US dollars, all whilst whilst working for Kuchma's government. Her husband has now successfully claimed asylum in the Czech Republic and is denying reports that they have owned property there for some years - Ukrainian authorities believe he has helped hide some of the money missing (and owed to the Ukrainian government) following the collapse of one of her companies.

It is interesting that Western governments didn't comment on the "election observers" who were flown into Donetsk just before the presidential elections on a flight chartered by one of Tymoshenko's companies. All the people on the flight turned out to be officers of the Georgian interior police but they all claimed to be visiting girlfriends in the region. Ukrainian authorities told them not interfere in the elections but some were later arrested for attempting to tamper with ballot boxes and for fighting with police and officials at polling stations.

If Tymoshenko comes to Germany for treatment, she will apply for asylum and join her husband and their ill-gotten gains. It seems likely that Western governments will then try to push her back into power in Ukraine.
13:25 April 13, 2012 by DavidtheNorseman
@jg - It has been evident even to (most of) those of us in the West that Tymoshenko is just a Western puppet. As Westerners this is not particularly bothersome to us but most of us understand why people in Ukraine might not be so accepting. It is rather like Vlad Putin. We Westerners would rather have someone less competent running Russia so of course his approval rating in the West is much lower than in Russia where people recognize he is working for the best interests of Russia LOL.

Just imagine if there was a German party where the leader was a proven flunky of Moscow - how well that would be received in Germany LOL
13:45 April 13, 2012 by yourkeau
It would be fun to know that Russian government pays people to make comments on TheLocal. If this is not the case, you guys should stop watching Russia Today. You have no idea what I dictatorship is and you are so lucky not to have it experienced.

As for Frau Tymoshenko: thousands of ordinary people in Ukraine are jailed without a right for fair trial. Do you know, that Ukrainian police succeed in investigating of more than 80% of crimes (while European average is about 30% or less)? But EU don't bother with this, they only care about Frau Tymoshenko. Of course, her trial is fake, because justice in Western sense doesn't exist in Ukraine, it is like it was in Middle Ages.
14:02 April 13, 2012 by murka
Poor poor Mr Lutsenko. Previously in The Local:

Drunk Ukrainian politician detained at Frankfurt airport

http://www.thelocal.de/society/20090506-19101.html

"¦quot;It was a big scene,¦quot; a witness told Bild, which reported the two shouted and threw their mobile phones as police arrived. ... Lutsenko then demanded that German officials apologise to him, refusing to leave a detention area through the front door. "
14:52 April 13, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
Oh gosh... not another pronouncement from Germany that something is "unacceptable." Words, words, words...

David the Norsemen - A german party leader who is a flunky of Moscow? How about Schroeder and his gas deal? DOes that count, sort of?
15:35 April 13, 2012 by Sayer
Until Germany allows scientific investigations into, and open debate on the events of 1939 - 1945 it has no business telling any other nation what to do. None. You cannot legislate secrecy and taboos in Germany and then demand that openness and dissent be permitted in Ukraine.
16:34 April 13, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
Sayer - what else is there to investigate from Germany and WW2?
21:33 April 13, 2012 by Sayer
Scientific research of the events in the "camps" is prohibited under German law. Validation and call it CSI-type verification of the "eye-witness accounts" is legally prohibited in Germany, and many other countries. I'm not talking about letting a bunch of deniers loose using pseudo-science. I'm talking about peer-reviewed scientific investigation. Even to suggest it may be illegal, so I'll stop here.

Truth needs no law to support it. Open the entire field to solid scientific independent investigation. Surely the victims deserve the truth?
18:25 April 14, 2012 by raandy
Sayer, there is merit to your thinking. At the end of the war the Soviets cut off all information from their occupied lands.The killing of Jews and other undesirables by both the Nazis and Soviets in the East was not let out and remained behind the Iron Curtain until the collapse of the USSR.

What the Americans and British saw was nothing in comparison to what the Soviets saw as all the killing was east of the Molotov-Ribbentrop line in what has now been referred to as the Blood Lands. The book by Timothy Snyder called "The Blood Lands Europe between Hitler and Stalin brings out all that was hidden for so many years, quite shocking.
23:27 April 14, 2012 by Sayer
What I would also like to see is an accounting of German POW deaths, as well as civilian deaths by starvation enforced by the Allied (particularly US) victors from 1945-48. They exceed the (still scientifically unverifiable*) 6mil total deaths from all of the other camps combined. *ICRC numbers of the day, ethniciities non-specific. C'mon, folks, do a little digging.
Today's headlines
Minister praises Erasmus 'success story'
Photo: DPA

Minister praises Erasmus 'success story'

A revamped version of European student exchange programme Erasmus officially launched in Berlin on Thursday with Germany's education minister praising the scheme as a Europe-wide “success story”. READ () »

Turkey tourists lose call to prayer refund bid
Photo: DPA

Turkey tourists lose call to prayer refund bid

A German couple has lost their legal fight to get a refund for a Turkish holiday which they said was ruined by the calls to prayer from a nearby mosque. It is just one of a series of court claims by picky German tourists. READ () »

Germany halts arms sales to Russia
Russian troops surround a Ukrainian base in Crimea. Photo: DPA

Germany halts arms sales to Russia

Germany has stopped selling arms to Russia due to the current “political situation”, according to reports on Thursday. The sale of military equipment to Russia by German firms has been criticized by the country’s Nato allies. READ () »

Truck kills man lying in middle of road
Photo: DPA

Truck kills man lying in middle of road

Police were searching for witnesses on Wednesday morning following a mysterious road accident in which a 25-year-old man was killed as he lay in the middle of the road. READ () »

Ecclestone bribery trial kicks off in Munich
Bernie Ecclestone in court in Munich on Thursday morning. Photo: DPA

Ecclestone bribery trial kicks off in Munich

UPDATE: Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone went on trial in Munich on Thursday facing bribery charges in a case which threatens his nearly 40-year-reign of the motor sport. READ () »

Where are Germany's smartest towns?
Germany's cleverest town. Photo: DPA

Where are Germany's smartest towns?

A brain training website released scores on Wednesday showing which German towns performed best and worst in a range of cognitive tests - with some surprising results. READ () »

April wraps up with stormy week ahead
Lightning over Lake Starnberg, in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

April wraps up with stormy week ahead

The end of April is looking stormy for Germany with hot and cold air mixing and making for wild spring weather over the coming few days, state forecasters DWD said on Wednesday. READ () »

Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia
Russian troops pictured in March in Crimea. Photo: DPA

Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia

Germany arms sales to Russia have come under fire following the crisis in Ukraine. In 2012 Germany sold €40 million worth of rifles, pistols and armoured vehicles to the country. READ () »

Munich to get 'Tetris cube' hotel
Photo: Nieto Sobejano Architects, Berlin

Munich to get 'Tetris cube' hotel

Munich's old city centre is to receive an ultra modern addition to its skyline in the shape of a new hotel dubbed 'the Tetris cube'. READ () »

The Local List
German beer culture in 11 gulps
Photo: DPA

German beer culture in 11 gulps

Wednesday marks the 498th anniversary of Germany's celebrated beer purity law, so in honour of nearly half a millennium of hoppy history, this week's Local List tells some beer truths you may not know. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
11 things you need to know about German beer
Photo: DPA
Politics
Interview with AfD - 'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Photo: DPA
National
Police damage own water cannon with eggs
Photo: DPA
National
Let us start work later after World Cup nights, unions says
Photo: DPA
Society
Crystal meth use hits record level
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Advertisement:
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,069
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd