Committee of Ministers on Ukraine

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has earlier today expressed solidarity with Ukraine and its people in these uncertain times. It also emphasized :

the importance of maintaining efforts towards finding a political solution in the country and the commitment of its 47 governments to the peaceful settlement of disputes and the full respect of the territorial integrity, unity and independence of Ukraine.
… reforms undertaken in Ukraine should be conducted in an all-inclusive manner, fully respect the principle of the rule of law and comply with the country’s commitments to the Council of Europe, the European Convention on Human Rights and the other Council of Europe conventions to which Ukraine is party, in particular the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

Tymoshenko v Ukraine

The European Court of Human Rights has on 30 April 2013 delivered judgment in the case of Tymoshenko v Ukraine (49872/11) and unanimously found that Ukraine violated Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security); Article 5 § 4 (right to a speedy review of the lawfulness of detention); Article 5 § 5 (right to compensation for unlawful detention); and Article 18 (limitation on use of restrictions on rights) in conjunction with Article 5; of the European Convention on Human Rights. More specifically, it held :

298. … when it comes to allegations of political or other ulterior motives in the context of criminal prosecution, it is difficult to dissociate the pre-trial detention from the criminal proceedings within which such detention has been ordered (§ 108). However, like in the cited case, the Court discerns a number of specific features of the applicant’s pre-trial detention which allow it to look into the matter separately from the more general context of the allegedly politically motivated prosecution of the applicant as an opposition leader by instigating several criminal charges after the change of power and before the Parliamentary elections…
300. … the Court cannot but find that the restriction of the applicant’s liberty permitted under Article 5 § 1 (c) was applied not for the purpose of bringing her before a competent legal authority on reasonable suspicion of having committed an offence, but for other reasons.
301. The Court considers this sufficient basis for finding a violation of Article 18 of the Convention taken in conjunction with Article 5.

As it has been widely reported, Mrs Tymoshenko was released from hospital on last Saturday. This judgment is now of the few rendered against Ukraine which have been at least partially executed. It remains to be seen whether remaining judgments against Ukraine will be also so speedily executed.