Europe official says Tymoshenko needs more privacy

AP News

5/17/2012 3:38:19 PM - AP News

European officials who met this week with imprisoned former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said Thursday that authorities are impinging on her privacy.

Mailis Reps and Marietta de Pourbaix-Lundin, rapporteurs for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, visited Tymoshenko this week in the hospital room where she is being treated for a chronic back condition.

They told reporters that there are three cameras in Tymoshenko's room and that guards are present at all times, making Tymoshenko uncomfortable.

"It was like entering the airport to get into her room," Pourbaix-Lundin said of the security.

Reps said that one of the recommendations she will make is that Ukrainian authorities "respect her privacy more."

Tymoshenko's seven-year sentence for abuse of office has been widely criticized in the West as being the result of a politically motivated case. Some European officials and governments have vowed to boycott this summer's European soccer championships in Ukraine to protest her imprisonment.

Tymoshenko contends the case is political revenge led by her arch-foe, President Viktor Yanukovych. Tymoshenko was the most charismatic leader of the 2004 Orange Revolution protests that forced a rerun of a presidential election in which Yanukovych was initially counted as winner.

Yanukovych defeated Tymoshenko in the 2010 presidential election.

The rapporteurs met Thursday with Yanukovych, who denies the case is political persecution.