Target: President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych
Goal: Order the immediate release of former Prime Minister and political prisoner Yulia Tymoshenko.
Yulia Tymoshenko, former Prime Minister of Ukraine, is serving a 7 year sentence for abuse of office after signing a contract with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to solve the 2009 Russia-Ukraine gas dispute. While the Ukraine government argued that she had exceeded her powers as Prime Minister, the European Union is convinced that the law was selectively applied and that her conviction was politically motivated, as she is the current president’s main political opponent.
Not only are international leaders concerned about the political agenda that is behind Tymoshenko’s conviction, they are also concerned about the treatment of the politician. Earlier this year, Ukraine denied Tymoshenko’s request to be treated in Germany for medical problems after fruitless efforts to receive treatment in Ukraine. Tymoshenko also claims that she was beaten up by prison guards and supported her claims with pictures of her bruised body. She went on a hunger strike for a brief period of time as a response to the beating.
The leaders of Germany, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Belgium, and Austria decided to boycott the Euro Cup by not sending representatives to the tournament, which is currently taking place in Ukraine and Poland. Human rights organizations including Amnesty International have also called for Tymoshenko’s immediate release.
The international pressure on Ukraine to release Tymoshenko and other political prisoners in Ukraine is building and it is important that we keep the momentum going even after the Euro Cup ends in three weeks. Sign the petition and help urge President Yanukovych to order the release Yulia Tymoshenko.
Dear President Yanukovych,
Many government leaders and human rights organizations have urged your government to release Yulia Tymoshenko. As you know, there are doubts about the motives behind her prosecution. The international community strongly feels that the law that allowed for the prosecution of Mrs. Tymoshenko was selectively applied and that her conviction was politically motivated.
The international community is also concerned about the treatment of Mrs. Tymoshenko. Your government was reluctant to give Mrs. Tymoshenko the medical treatment that she needed and requested. And while Mrs. Tymoshenko’s claim that she was beaten up by prison guards is denied by government officials, there is evidence to believe that her claims are valid.
Ukraine is violating human rights agreements and putting international relationships at risk. I strongly urge you to reconsider the motivations on which Mrs. Tymoshenko’s conviction was based and order her immediate release.
[Your Name Here]