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Ukraine: Yulia Tymoshenko, 'heroine' of Orange Revolution, complains to European Court of Human Rights

The opposition leader's lawyers say she did not receive adequate care while in pre-trial detention, and that the charges against her are politically motivated.

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Supporters of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko chant slogans during a protest in front of Kiev's High Court on August 21, 2012, during a session of hearings on an appeal against her conviction and seven-year jail sentence for abuse of office while prime minister. (GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Lawyers for Yulia Tymoshenko, a former prime minister of Ukraine, have filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights over the opposition leader's pre-trial detention in her home country, the BBC reported.

Tymoshenko was last year convicted of "abuse of office" and sentenced to a seven-year jail term, according to the BBC. Her team contends that she was not adequately cared for during her four months of pre-trial dentention, and cites four articles of the European Human Rights Convention to make the case, according to Russia Today: one covering "unlawful detention and arrest" and others "on abuse, on the right of privacy, and political motivations behind the arrest and detention."

The hearing for the complaint is taking place in Strasbourg today, RT reported. Tymoshenko suffers from back problems, and did not attend her most recent appeal hearing, according to RT.

According to the Associated Press, a Ukrainian court on Wednesday will separately rule on an appeal of Tymoshenko's conviction. Tymoshenko's team contended to the Ukrainian Supreme Specialized Court that her conviction "over allegations involving a gas contract negotiated while she was prime minister" was politically motivated, the AP wrote.

According to Human Rights Watch, the contract was allegedly negotiated without the blessing of the Cabinet of Ministers, and "significantly increased the price of natural gas."

The European Union agreed that charges against Tymoshenko were politically motivated, and cancelled free trade agreements and political relationships with Ukraine after she was sentenced last year, according to RT.

The BBC describes Tymoshenko as a "heroine of Ukraine's Orange Revolution," a 2004 protest movement against election fraud that ended in a victory for opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko.

Tymoshenko has also been charged with tax evasion and embezzlement, according to RT, with a hearing to address those charges set for next month.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/120828/ukraine-yulia-tymoshenko-heroine-orange-revolution-complains-european-human-rights-court