Having been called today from Kiev/Ukraine by a quite prominent person, if after the European Court of Human RIghts Judgment in the case of Tymoshenk v. Ukraine the EU Association Agreement of this country willbe signed, I had to say clearly: No. Because nobody in the European Union can and will afford to say yes to an agreement with a European country which has such a bad record in Human Rights (with „selective justice“, i. e. a judiciary which acts not equal on everyone). It is too uncivilised for a European space of freedom, justice and the rule of law if a person who happened to be prime minister and is considered as danger for the regime ist just put into jail – just for nothing, just for fun, just breaking all the rules as emphasized in the ECHR judgment.
To underline this here is the press release from the European Commission from 30.4.2013 (and please ask yourself if any EU institution could sign any far-reaching agreeent with such a regime):
[Underlined parts by the author of this blog article]European Commission MEMO Brussels, 30 April 2013
Joint Statement by EU High Representative, Catherine Ashton, and Commissioner Stefan Füle on today’s judgement by the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Tymoshenko v. Ukraine
Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, and Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, made today the following statement:
„Today’s judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Tymoshenko v. Ukraine confirms the concerns consistently expressed by the EU regarding the arbitrary legal proceedings in the case of Yulia Tymoshenko.
In light of today’s judgement, we call on the Ukrainian authorities to reconsider thoroughly the situation of Ms Tymoshenko, the leader of one of the strongest opposition parties in the country, who remains detained after a trial that did not respect fair, transparent and independent legal proceedings. We stress the importance of a clearly expressed commitment by the Ukrainian authorities to early implementation of all judgments of the European Court of Human Rights.
We also continue to encourage the Ukrainian authorities to work closely with the European Parliament’s monitoring mission to Ukraine headed by former Presidents Cox and Kwaśniewski with a view to redressing the effects of the current situation and removing outstanding concerns regarding selective justice in Ukraine.
Ukraine also needs to take urgent steps to remedy the systemic procedural shortcomings identified in this ruling, as part of a comprehensive reform of the judiciary, to prevent recurrence of arbitrary decisions and allay concerns over the selective use of justice. This is essential in order to fully implement the conclusions of the 10 December 2012 Foreign Affairs Council and the joint statement of the EU-Ukraine Summit of 25 February 2013.”
This is no pro-Tymoshen ko position, but simply a position against the principle of selective justice – the most arbitrary violation of any rule of law. Now Mr. Yanukovich has it in his hands: Either he releases immediately Yulia Timoshenko (like her former minister Luzenko), or he does not regard the ECHR judgment – which he first promised to accept! This is one more reason that the EU should not want Ukraine, a European country with decades of common history, coming closer to the European Union – as long it is ruled by someone who arranged this selective justice. One should imagine this in a present EU country! It is clear, together with the assessment of the last election e.g. by the OSCE (and others) that this regime can keep in place only by rigged election results. This is not the way as it is done and should be done in Europe.
Mr. Yanukovich, all the Europeans – in- and outside of the EU – wait until you release now Ms. Tymoshenko – or go yourself where you belong.Hans-Jürgen Zahorka Chief Editor, European Union Foreign Affairs Journal www.eufaj.eu