Jailed former prime minister Tymoshenko on hunger strike over alleged beating


Former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko has gone on hunger strike in prison after guards dragged her off her bed and punched her, her lawyer said yesterday. Prison authorities deny the accusations.

Ms Tymoshenko (51), the main opponent of the president, Viktor Yanukovich, is behind bars on abuse-of-office charges. She said the alleged beating took place while she was being moved to a state-run hospital in Kharkiv city last Friday after complaining of back pain. “They approached my bed, put a sheet over me and started dragging me off the bed, using brute physical force. In pain and desperate, I started defending myself the way I could and received a strong fist punch in the abdomen,” Ms Tymoshenko said in a statement read out by her lawyer, Serhiy Vlasenko.– (Reuters)