Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Demonstratively brutal treatment of Tymoshenko continues

I liked this blog from well-known journalist Viktoria Syumar in 'Ukrainska Pravda'.

She describes the conditions in which self-confessed Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik is currently being held. He is accused of shooting dead 70 young people on a Norwegian island earlier this year.

The prison where his incarcerated has private individual rooms, a state of the art gymnasium, a jogging trail through the silvan prison grounds, interview rooms, well stocked library, CD's etc. etc. Berivik has his own room and bathroom, and can use all of the prison's facilities.

Syumar compares this to the current predicament of former PM Yulia Tymoshenko who was sentenced to seven years in jail having signed an intergovernmental agreement without the approval of her cabinet [which she almost certainly would have received in any case].

Anders Behring Breivik has every opportunity to prepare himself for trial, and can relax and exercise in order to keep fit and healthy.

After being bedridden for over two weeks Tymoshenko was woken up at 5 a.m. today, driven to hospital for examination [an MRI scan and X-ray], then swiftly returned, according to some reports, on a stretcher. An official prison statement was released: " life-threatening pathological changes were indicated..and the condition of her health permits necessary investigations [by tax investigators] to continue..

Prosecutor-General Viktor Pshonka added: "There is no diagnosis that would threaten the life of Tymoshenko, and that means we can continue investigative actions."

In other words, she may be sick and bedridden, but because her life is not in danger, we do what we like..

All of this is far removed from publicly declared statements by Ukraine's politicians of matching European standards, humanistic principles and so on.

"Why is it that those people with power and money at the head of the state machine behave in this way towards a sick woman over whose fate the world is anxiously watching - familiarising itself with the savageness of Ukrainian reality?" asks Syumar.

She concludes: "Yes, they [the authorities] are afraid. But, by carefully hiding their own fear they are trying to impose fear on us. Who wants to be in opposition? Who wants to become a viable alternative? If you do, the same could happen to you...Hence the irrational and demonstrative cruelty. Human dignity does not enter into their calculations. It is the task of anyone who wants to preserve their own dignity to demand an end to the bullying of Tymoshenko, to make a change in the system, to change the system itself."

Your blogger would add that there is cynical calculation here too. Support for Tymoshenko has been muted inside the country - demonstrations have been thinly attended. They can get away with it. But why the hurry with the current investigations? She is not going anywhere for a while is she?

And a message for what Yanukovych considers as interfering, Western politicians too. We do what we like in our own muck heap. We don't care for your soft liberal values..we prefer the strong fist...this is all he knows..


Anonymous said...

1. Taking Brevik and Norway as a It's an odd arugment to make that Tym's oonditions aren't as good as those in Norway. Of course not. No prisoner in Urkaine's are - surely. Norway seems to take seriously the fact that a man or woman is innocent until proven guilty whatever the crime even massacring scores of kids(Brevik is not guilty yet even though 'we all know he did it) and that prison should be for re-habilitation (apparently condiction are pretty good afterwards as well). Lets take the UK, for example intesd. There conditions are more like Ukraine, no? For example, even if you turn out to be innocent of even a fairly trivial offence, conditions are terrible in pre-trail facilities. Using Norway and Brevik shows up most of the rest of the world even Western Europe. If the blogger argued that Tym was worse treated than other prisoners in Ukraine that would have been persecution. If she's arguing that Tym is innocent and shouldn't be in prison that's another argument which might be true but has nothing to do with her conditions.

LEvko said...

You are right - the general treatment of those imprisoned in Ukr is dreadful.

But I think the point was that despite the fact that the whole of Europe is watching what is happening to Tymoshenko [a check of European mass media confirms this], yet the Ukr authorities are still behaving in a demonstratively brutal manner toward her. I think it is fair to suggest the reason for this is to scare the opposition and to indicate to 'softy' westerners that you have no leverage in our country...we are vozhdi here..

It is generally accepted that prominent prisoners should be decently well treated i.e. better that the average. Google Hague Hilton...