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Ukrainian former PM goes on Hunger Strike

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Former Ukraine Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko

Jailed Ukrainian former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has gone on a hunger strike, protesting her treatment in prison and demanding an end to political repression.

Ukraine’s jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has been on a hunger strike for the past five days, protesting her treatment by prison guards and doctors, as well as calling for an end to political repressions in the country, her lawyer said Tuesday, reports AP.

She began her hunger strike after being reportedly beaten up by guards who were trying to forcibly move her to a hospital on Friday.

“Three strong men came up to my bed, threw a sheet on me and then started pulling me off the bed by force… They tied up my arms and legs and… dragged me out in the sheet. I thought it was the last minutes of my life,” says Tymoshenko.

In October, a Ukrainian court sentenced Tymoshenko, who is Ukraine’s leading opposition figure, to seven years in prison and banned her from political activities for three years over charges of abusing her power in signing a gas deal with Russia in 2009.

The ruling was condemned by several European officials, who called the legal proceedings a political show trial.

She is also being tried in absentia on charges of tax evasion which can extend her prison term from 7 to 12 years.

Tymoshenko has denied the allegations, saying the charges against her were politically motivated and that Ukraine has returned to the dark days of Stalin’s rule.

Having twice served as prime minister between 2005 and 2010, she is the most prominent figure among over 400 Ukrainian officials who are currently being prosecuted.


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