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EU Parliament Calls For Independent Panel In Ukraine

  • RFE/RL

A man walks past tents at a protest camp by supporters of Yulia Tymoshenko (pictured) in central Kyiv.

A man walks past tents at a protest camp by supporters of Yulia Tymoshenko (pictured) in central Kyiv.

BRUSSELS -- The European Parliament has called on the Ukrainian authorities to establish an independent panel to investigate alleged rights abuses against jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

In a resolution backed on May 24 by all major political groups, the parliament stressed the need for Ukraine to "guarantee the impartiality and transparency" of Tymoshenko's appeal process.

It also urged guarantees for Tymoshenko, and for Yuriy Lutsenko and Valery Ivashchenko -- the jailed former interior and defense ministers who served under Tymoshenko -- to receive adequate medical assistance.

Tymoshenko was jailed for seven years in October 2011 on charges of abuse of office in a case supporters say was politically motivated.

Lutsenko and Ivashchenko were jailed on similar charges.

The parliament resolution stopped short of calling on EU leaders to boycott Euro 2012 soccer championship games in Ukraine next month.

In other news, the Ukrainian authorities say that Tymoshenko will not be allowed to attend the funeral of her father-in-law.

The State Penitentiary Service said in a statement that Ukrainian law allowed convicts to attend funerals of immediate family members only, while in-laws are not considered by as immediate family members.

The death of Tymoshenko's father-in-law, Hennadiy Tymoshenko, was reported earlier on May 24.

Tymoshenko is currently hospitalized for treatment of back problems. She has also complained she had been mistreated by her guards, and last month went briefly on a hunger strike.

With reporting by UNIAN and Interfax
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