Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and opponent said Tuesday it has begun a hunger strike in prison, her lawyer said, quoted by Interfax news agency. She wants to protest against "political repression" in her country. This hunger strike, "unlimited" in the words of her lawyer, was started Friday, April 20, the day of her transfer to hospital for treatment of serious back problems.
Imprisoned since last August, Ms. Timoshenko, 51, was sentenced in October to seven years in prison for abuse of power. It is also considered since April 19 for embezzlement and tax evasion in 1997-1998, when it led the group united energy systems of Ukraine. Offenses liable to twelve years imprisonment. The prosecution also claimed reimbursement from the state of 19.5 million hryvnias, or 1.8 million euros.
The opponent, defeated candidate for president in 2010, denounced these actions as a personal vendetta of the current president, Viktor Yanukovych, who seeks to depart from its main political opponent, muse of the Orange Revolution of 2004. The case Timoshenko has been roundly criticized by the European Union and the United States who see it as politically motivated. This caused an unprecedented crisis in the relations of Kiev with the European Union, which called for the release of former Prime Minister.