Former Ukraine PM Yulia Tymoshenko to end hunger strike, daughter announces
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Yevgenia Tymoshenko has announced her mother, former Ukrainian Yulia Tymoshenko, is to end her hunger strike after nineteen days. Yulia's lawyer, Serhiy Vlasenko, cited "what is happening in the country and what is happening to her in prison" as reasons for her commencing her fast.
|Ukraine may simply never have fair elections again|
—Yulia Tymoshenko, former
The politician is serving a seven-year sentence for abuse of office arising fromwhile she was Prime Minister. She has accused jail guards of assaulting her while transporting her to a hospital against her will to get treatment for back pain which she has reportedly been experiencing for months. In the incident, Vlasenko said Tymoshenko "naturally got scared, began resisting, after which she received a punch in the stomach and passed out", referring to a bruise which remains present on her body.
Adherents of Tymoshenko have publicised pictures showing bruising on the politician's body. Corrections officers have refuted claims of their responsibility.regional prosecutor, Henadiy Tyurin, confirmed "she was picked up, carried to the car and taken to the hospital" but insisted: "According to the law ... the prison service has the right to use physical measures".
Tymoshenko was scheduled to appear in a fresh trial for a tax evasion charge the day before she was taken to hospital. In theory, the hearing could have her imprisonment extended to the year 2023. The trial has been postponed to May 21. She does not accept she broke the law as the boss of ain the 1990s.
Tymoshenko has refused to accept medical treatment from Ukrainian doctors for her back problems, but has been given permission to travel from her current prison in Kharkiv to a hospital in the same city yesterday. There she is to be assisted by German doctor Lutz Harms, who is to "begin bringing [her] out of her hunger strike", Yevgenia explained. At the time of her going on hunger strike, Vlasenko spoke of Tymoshenko not having the ability to leave her own bed.
Yevgenia described how her mother "appears to have lost 10kg [22 lbs], her temperature has dropped significantly and she may pass out any minute now". Due to the hunger strike, it was considered "impossible to start treatment immediately", she said.
In the hours prior to this announcement, the European summit scheduled for May 11–12 in the city of due to what the country's described as a "connection with the fact that a number of European leaders [being] unable to take part in the Yalta summit for different reasons". At least ten leaders, including the presidents of the , , and , reportedly reversed their decisions to appear at the summit in relation to the treatment of Tymoshenko.postponed a
Ukrainian football matches scheduled for June may also be boycotted by leaders, according to . The has stated its commissioners will refuse to attend Ukraine-hosted Euro 2012 matches. The has clarified that what happens to Tymoshenko will influence whether or not its representatives will appear at the matches.
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What effect will this hunger strike have?
Tymoshenko denies abuse of office charges, believing them to be part of a campaign by European Union and the strongly criticised the conviction as they believed it is politically influenced.to prohibit her from politics. The
In the, she was narrowly beaten by Yanukovych. Tymoshenko was also the leader of the , which removed power from Yanukovych after he won the amid electoral fraud.
In a letter, Tymoshenko appealed to Europe to persist in pressuring Yanukovych because Ukrainian citizens "cannot fight [Yanukovych's government] on their own" and "Ukraine may simply never have fair elections again", she claimed. She had earlier spoke of her belief that Yanukovych was vengeful.
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