Human Rights Watch said Oct. 21 that President Viktor Yushchenko has improperly interfered with the judiciary as his political rivalry with Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has grown increasingly acute. Members of Tymoshenko’s political party have also taken steps that seem designed to intimidate the judiciary. “Both groups are using the judiciary in a tug-of-war, and an independent judiciary will be the biggest loser,” said Allison Gill, Moscow office director at Human Rights Watch. “Both sides should stop interfering immediately.” (HRW)

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