Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko claims she was beaten when being transported from prison to a hospital, the AP reports.The former leader, once dubbed the world’s “most beautiful politician”, that three big guards entered her jail cell, covered her with a bedsheet, punched her in the stomach when she started resisting, twisted her arms and legs, and carried her outside in the bedsheet, causing her to lose consciousness because of the pain.
Tymoshenko suffers from a severe spinal condition, and despite the recommendations of German doctors to treat her at a specialised clinic, she was taken to a local clinic on Friday. Tymoshenko said she resisted because she didn’t trust government-appointed doctors.
“Her arms are all bruised, and there is a huge bruise on her belly, which has not disappeared even after four days,” Tymoshenko’s lawyer said, according to The Moscow Times. A state prosecutor denied the allegations of a beating but said the move had indeed been forced.
Tymoshenko has since announced she is on hunger strike in protest. On Tuesday, she did not say how long she would fast, saying only that she was prepared to continue “steadfastly and with dignity no matter what,” according to The New York Times.
She was imprisoned in 2011 following an investigation into a gas pipeline deal she made while in office. She has is now facing additional charges related to fraud, though some critics say her imprisonment is politically motivated.
The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine has said it intends to look into the matter, the Kyiv Post reports.
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