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Post Beating, Former Ukranian PM Goes on Hunger Strike

Police lead former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko out of the courtroom after a verdict in her case has been rendered at the Pecherskiy District Court in Kyiv, Ukraine, Oct. 11, 2011.
Police lead former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko out of the courtroom after a verdict in her case has been rendered at the Pecherskiy District Court in Kyiv, Ukraine, Oct. 11, 2011.

A lawyer for Ukraine's jailed former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, says she has been on a hunger strike since allegedly being beaten up by prison guards last week.

Serhiy Vlasenko said Tuesday the guards beat up Tymoshenko while while moving her to a hospital on Friday. He said her arms and stomach are still bruised from the incident.

Prosecutors admit she was taken to a hospital against her will, but deny allegations she was beaten. She had refused to go to the hospital voluntarily because she does not trust the government's doctors.   

Tymoshenko has complained of severe back pain and has asked for medical treatment monitored by foreign doctors.  

The opposition leader was sentenced to seven-years in jail last year on charges of abuse of office in a 2009 gas deal with Russia.  She is now standing trial on tax evasion charges that could extend her jail time to 12 years.

She denies the charges and argues they are part of a campaign by current Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych to remove his strongest political rival.

The United States, the European Union and human rights groups have condemned the charges against Tymoshenko as politically motivated.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Alexey
April 26, 2012 10:14 AM
Yanukovych is former Prime Minister of Ukraine, now he is the President.

by: Mike
April 25, 2012 3:48 PM
Ukraine has the last remaining dictatorship in Europe according to The Economist magazine. I agree. The current leader is a brute, and sees nothing wrong with imprisoning political opposition. Shame on the EU for even considering the Ukraine for membership. The world should be screaming at the Ukrainian people for electing such a leader. Remember that a certain Austrian Corporal came to power in an election . . . We should take them seriously.

by: William
April 25, 2012 10:39 AM
It is the current prime minister that is the criminal, And he better hope he wins the next election.

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