Real-time Stock quotes, portfolio, LIVE TV and more.
Jun 13, 2012, 11.22 PM IST
SOCCER-GERMANY-TYMOSHENKO:'Don't forget Tymoshenko' says Germany before match
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's foreign minister urged German soccer fans on Wednesday to remember Ukraine's ex-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko as they gather for their country's game against the Netherlands in the city of Kharkiv where she is serving a jail sentence.
Tymoshenko's daughter Yevgenia also appealed to fans attending the Euro 2012 tournament to "send a clear message" to Ukrainian authorities to free her mother, jailed last year for abuse of office and now hospitalised in Kharkiv with back pains.
"I hope that amid all the enthusiasm focused on the leather ball, the destiny of Yulia Tymoshenko and of all other Ukrainian opposition activists sitting in jail will not be forgotten", German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said.
The match between Germany and the Netherlands begins at 1845 GMT on Wednesday at a stadium not far from the hospital where Tymoshenko is being treated. Her lawyer said she would be able to hear the roar of the fans from her guarded room.
The European Union and the United States say Tymoshenko's trial and imprisonment are politically motivated and as a mark of protest senior EU officials have stayed away from matches in Ukraine, which is co-hosting the championship with Poland.
In a sign that he would not bow to Western pressure to release Tymoshenko, Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovich stirred up a storm on Wednesday by linking his arch rival to a contract murder 16 years ago of a powerful businessman.
Germany has been particularly critical of the Tymoshenko case and has sent doctors to Kharkiv to help in the treatment of her chronic back pain, though Yanukovich has rejected an offer to treat her in Berlin.
Yevgenia Tymoshenko made a personal appeal to soccer fans.
"Fans must not forget that they are watching soccer matches in a country where political opponents like my mother are held in prison under brutal conditions," she told Germany's top-selling daily Bild.
"People should use the game in Kharkiv to send a clear message to Ukrainian President Yanukovich: 'we want freedom for all political prisoners!', she added.
Yevgenia Tymoshenko suggested fans might wear T-shirts with images of political prisoners or sport wigs resembling her mother's trademark braid.
In the Kharkiv hospital, Tymoshenko is under constant video surveillance and has limited access to daylight, according to German doctors who have treated her.
Tymoshenko's appeal against her conviction is due to be heard on June 26 in Kiev. The day before, a court in Kharkiv is scheduled to resume hearing another charge against her of tax evasion and embezzlement.
(Reporting By Elisa Oddone, editing by Gareth Jones and Rosalind Russell)
May 18 2013, 17:26
- in MARKET OUTLOOK
May 17 2013, 12:39
- in MARKET OUTLOOK