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Council of Europe Requests Access to Tymoshenko

RIA Novosti

18:25 26/04/2012

STRASBURG, April 26 (RIA Novosti) - The Council of Europe's secretary general, Thorbjorn Jagland, has asked the Ukrainian authorities to allow European diplomats to visit former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko and expressed concerns over reports that prison staff had beaten her up.

It is in the Ukrainian government's interest to allow diplomats to visit Tymoshenko to check that information, Jagland said.

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasburg is currently monitoring the situation, Jagland said, adding that the court should publish its findings in the next few days.

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who is serving seven years in jail for abuse of office, has severe back pain and cannot walk. The Ukrainian authorities have authorized Tymoshenko to receive treatment at a hospital outside the prison, but she refuses to go there. On Tuesday Tymoshenko said she was attacked while being moved to the hospital for an examination last Friday.

The general prosecutor has ordered a probe into the allegation. The prison service denies Tymoshenko's claim she was beaten up.

Ombudswoman Nina Karpacheva visited Tymoshenko on Wednesday and confirmed that she had bruises on her arms and stomach. She demanded an investigation of the alleged assault and punishment for the guilty parties, likening Tymoshenko's treatment to torture.

Meanwhile, Yulia Tymoshenko is now on the seventh day of a hunger strike, her lawyer Serhiy Vlasenko said.

“Yulia Tymoshenko has been on hunger strike for seven days and her ex-cellmate is in solitary confinement. The regime is trying to divert public attention from the infamous beating of ex-prime minister,” Tymoshenko is quoted on Vlasenko's website as saying.

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