U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) today cosponsored a bipartisan Senate Resolution introduced by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) calling for the release of Ukraine's former Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, in light of the European Court of Human Rights recent decision on her case. In 2011, Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison for allegedly abusing her power in the awarding of a natural gas contract. Numerous political and human rights groups have called the charges politically motivated and selectively prosecuted and called for Tymoshenko's release.
"As a new member of the community of democracies, I urge Ukraine to answer the call of the European Court of Human Rights and release Ms. Tymoshenko from prison," said Portman. "This will demonstrate to the world Ukraine's commitment to democracy and the right to disagree with the government without fear of imprisonment."
Since her trial and imprisonment in 2011, numerous human rights groups and government around the world, as well as the European Court of Human Rights, have called the charges politically motivated and called for Ms. Tymoshenko's release.
The Parliamentary Assembly Council of Europe passed a resolution in January 2012, declaring that the articles under which Ms. Tymoshenko was convicted were, "overly broad in application and effectively allow for ex post facto criminalization of normal political decision making."
Later that year, both the European Parliament and the U.S. Senate passed resolutions condemning the sentencing of Ms. Tymoshenko and calling for her release.
In late April, The European Court of Human Rights ruled that Ms. Tymoshenko's pre-trial detention was unlawful, that the lawfulness of her detention had not been properly reviewed, that her right to liberty had been restricted, and that she had no possibility to seek compensation for her unlawful deprivation of liberty.