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Members of anti-torture committee visit Timoshenko in Kiev jail

November 30, 2011, 19:14 UTC+3

Members of the European Committee for the Prevention of Tortur and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment /CPT/ met with Yulia Timoshenko

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KIEV, November 30 (Itar-Tass) — Members of the European Committee for the Prevention of Tortur and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment /CPT/ on Wednesday met with Ukraine's former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko in a detention center in Kiev

Kiev’s Pechersky district court sentenced Yulia Timoshenko to seven years in jail on charges of the abuse of occupational powers during the signing of gas supplies agreements with Russia in January 2009.

The former Prime Minister filed an appeal, which is due to be heard in December.

Timoshenko’s lawyer Sergei Vlasenko, who is a member of Ukrainian parliament, told reporters the delegation was led by Letif Guseinov and included one more committee member and a medical expert who was expected to draw conclusions on the state of Timoshenko’s health.

Vlasenko indicated that the group members were the first European representatives, whom the Ukrainian authorities had allowed to see Timoshenko in jail.

“The delegation had an opportunity to meet with the former Prime Minister because it has a freedom of access to all the detained and arrested persons under the terms of the European convention,” the lawyer said. “Along with this, the European representatives were shocked by the fact that the court has not issued a single permission so far to either European or Ukrainian politicians or even to members of Timoshenko’s family – actually, to anyone who’re not acting as her legal defense – to see her in jail.

“Also, the Europeans were astonished by the window dressing on the part of Ukraine’s State Penitentiary Service,” Vlasenko said. “Virtually on the eve of the meeting, Timoshenko was urgently moved to the detention center’s medical division and the meeting itself took place in a room still filled with the smell of wet paint.

The group received a full idea of the conditions, in which Timoshenko is kept, and of the status of her health. It is expected to release its findings shortly.

The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment is a specialized agency of the Council of Europe examining the treatment of convicts in the course of visits to penitentiaries for the purpose of protecting the convicts against torture, as well as inhuman or degrading treatment.

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