WARSAW: British government Ministers are falling in line with other European Union leaders in boycotting the early rounds at Euro 2012 in protest at Ukraine’s attitudes over a number of human rights issues writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The final straw for leaders from Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Francois Hollande onwards was the treatment of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko who was jailed last year for alleged abuse of power over an energy deal with Russia.
A statement released by foreign secretary William’s Hague’s department reads: “The Government fully supports England’s participation in Euro 2012. We hope this is a successful tournament for the England team, the fans and the people of Ukraine and Poland. No ministers will be attending group games at Euro 2012.
“We are keeping attendance at later stages of the tournament under review in the light of ministers’ busy schedules ahead of the Olympics and widespread concerns about selective justice and the rule of law in Ukraine.”
Tymoshenko, a political opponent of President Victor Yanukovich, was sentenced to seven years in jail. She began a hunger strike in April after photos appeared showing bruises on her body. She has accused prison guards of assaulting her. In a slight relaxation of her detention, she has been permitted treatment from a German doctor for a chronic back problem.
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