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U.S. Calls For Ukraine To Release Opposition Leaders

May 17, 2012

The United States has urged Ukraine to free imprisoned opposition leaders and allow them to run in the October 28 parliamentary elections.

Speaking to reporters and representatives from rights groups in Kyiv, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Thomas Melia voiced concerns about “selective, politically-motivated prosecutions on multiple occasions."

The case of Yulia Tymoshenko, who is serving a seven-year sentence for abuse of office while she was prime minister and facing additional charges, has drawn international outrage.

Earlier on May 16 in Brussels, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said the EU could send experts to assess both Tymoshenko’s medical state and the legal process that led to her conviction.

Tymoshenko is currently being treated at a hospital in Kharkiv to recover from a recent hunger strike and a back condition. She has complained of abuse and shown bruising she says came at the hands of prison guards.

Based on reporting by AFP, Interfax

Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/us-calls-for-ukraine-to-release-opposition-leaders/24583654.html

Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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