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Yulia Tymoshenko determined to continue hunger strike, says daughter

Yulia Tymoshenko's daughter says she fears for her mother's life, since the jailed former prime minister is determined to remain on hunger strike in protest against her treatment by the Ukrainian authorities.

Yulia tymoshenko hunger strike 06 05 2012Enlarge
A picture taken on April 25, 2012, shows Ukrainian jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko showing a bruise on her forearm that she says was caused by prison guards as they forcibly transferred her to hospital. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Yulia Tymoshenko is determined to continue her hunger strike "until decisions have been made," according to her daughter, who says she fears for her mother's life.

The former Ukrainian prime minister has been on hunger strike since April 20, in protest at her treatment at the prison where she is serving seven years for abuse of office.

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"She will continue her protest – with all the consequences – until decisions have been made," her daughter, Yevgenia, told Austrian newspaper Oesterreich in an interview cited by Reuters

"This is her intention and that is why I am afraid. I really fear for my mother's life."

Yevgenia Tymoshenko will travel to Berlin tomorrow, where she hopes to discuss her mother's case with Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Joachim Gauck, German newspaper Bild reported today.

A government spokesman told the paper that there were "no plans" for any such meeting, but did not rule it out. 

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Several German politicians have called for European governments to boycott next month's Euro 2012 soccer tournament co-hosted by Ukraine and Poland, in solidarity with Tymoshenko. Last Sunday, Merkel announced that she and her cabinet would not attend any of Germany's matches in Ukraine unless Tymoshenko was released, the Guardian reported.

The captain of Germany's national soccer team, Philipp Lahm, criticized the political situation in Ukraine in an interview published today in Der Spiegel magazine, saying Tymoshenko's treatment had "nothing to do with my understanding of democracy."

Such support has helped Tymoshenko "enormously pyschologically," her daughter told Oesterreich. 

Tymoshenko alleges that she was beaten by prison guards as they attempted to transfer her to hospital. She has chronic back problems, but is refusing to be treated by doctors appointed by the Ukrainian authorities, demanding instead to see German specialists or her own physician.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/120506/yulia-tymoshenko-hunger-strike