The Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO) today called on the Australian Government to intervene in the politically motivated arrest of Opposition Leader and former Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko in Kyiv on Friday August 5.
“The Court’s action in arresting Tymoshenko is another example of the violation of human rights and the Yanukovych Government’s systematic program of eradicating any form of opposition. Democratic process are being dwindled away” AFUO Chairman Stefan Romaniw OAM said today.
The AFUO wrote to Australia’s Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs Martin Ferguson to intervene in this gross violation of human rights and to ensure that fundamental rights and freedoms are afforded to all of Ukraine’s citizens, irrespective of race, creed or political persuasion. The AFUO called on the Australian Government to demand Yulia Tymoshenko’s immediate release.
“The International community has warned on numerous occasions of the undemocratic processes being implemented by the current regime . Australia has a responsibility as an international stalwart for democracy, not to sit idle,” Mr Romaniw said
David Kramer, President of internationally renowned Freedom House, said on the day of the arrest,
“We have always been of the opinion that the legal campaign against Timoshenko represents a misuse of legal proceedings to put pressure on opposition politicians. This latest development has moved this situation from the absurd to the outrageous and reinforces the perception that the current administration is selectively prosecuting Timoshenko as a means to silence her. For the United States and the European Union to view Ukraine as a viable partner, Ukraine must do more to show its commitment to rule of law and put an end to such spurious proceedings.”
The Ukrainian World Congress has called on sanctions to be applied . The UWC called on the United Nations, European Parliament, European Council and other international structures to send an unequivocal message to the Ukrainian government authorities that Ukraine cannot chair the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe while openly disrespecting fundamental European values.
“Respecting democratic values is a given. Anyone violating these should feel the full brunt of the international community. Australia has taken a hard line on human rights issues internationally.
Now it’s time to step up to the plate in Ukraine’ Mr Romaniw said
“Whilst Australia in distance may be far way, it eyes and ears are wide open in relation to human rights abuse. Ukrainian authorities must receive this message loud and clear “Mr Romaniw said
Mr Romaniw will travel to Ukraine this week in an endeavour to seek permission to meet with YuliaTymoshenko to express Australia’s Ukrainian community support . An urgent meeting with Australia’s Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs before his departure has been requested to be able to confirm to Tymoshenko the Australian Government’s support.
Further information contact Stefan Romaniw 0419 531 255
Ukraine after Wednesday August 10, 2011 +380 977 486 182