Former Ukraine PM Tymoshenko goes on hunger strikeApril 25th, 2012 - 12:32 am ICT by BNO News
KIEV, UKRAINE (BNO NEWS) — Ukrainian opposition leader and former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko began a hunger strike late last week to protest her treatment in prison, including an alleged assault, her lawyer said on Tuesday.
Tymoshenko began the hunger strike on Friday to protest against the treatment she has received in prison and the ongoing political repression in the country, according to Serhil Vlasenko, her lawyer and a member of parliament. Tymoshenko was continuing her hunger strike on Tuesday.
Vlasenko also alleged that Tymoshenko was physically abused last Friday while being transferred from Kachanivska women’s penal colony No.54 in Kharkiv to the Ukrzaliznytsia Central Clinical Hospital in Kharkiv in order to receive treatment for a severe spinal condition. “I saw bruises on her stomach area and hands,” he said, as quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency.
However, Kharkiv region prosecutor Hennadiy Tiurin said Tymoshenko had refused undergoing a medical exam and admitted that she was taken to the hospital against her will, causing the injuries.
Tymoshenko, 51, is serving a seven-year term for abuse of power in connection with a 2009 gas deal with Russia. She was accused of illegally forcing state energy company Naftogaz to sign a gas supply contract with Russian gas company Gazprom in 2009, which the state says required approval of the Cabinet of Ministers.
Tymoshenko has claimed her trial is politically motivated and an attempt by President Viktor Yanukovych, who narrowly beat her in the presidential election in February 2010, to bar her from future elections. The international community has largely condemned her trial.
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