"I thought the last minutes of my life had come. In unbearable pain and fear I started to cry and call out for help, but no help came." - The words of Yulia Tymoshenko on April 24, 2012.
Yulia Tymoshenko is a 51 year old mother, wife, and politician. She served twice as the Prime Minister of Ukraine, the only woman in history to hold the office. After narrowly losing to Viktor Yanukovych in the Ukrainian presidential elections of 2010, Mrs. Tymoshenko was removed from office and arrested for corruption by the newly elected government. World leaders from around the globe, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel , and Vladimir Putin, have since condemned the arrest and claimed it to be the result of a political show trial to prevent Tymoshenko’s opposition party from participating in elections.
Mrs. Tymoshenko is suffering from severe spinal condition and is in constant pain. Since late 2011, Mrs. Tymoshenko has been confided to her prison cell bed, unable to stand or walk on her own. In fear of malpractice by government appointed doctors, she has repeatedly requested to be examined and treated by independent doctors of her choice – a request that the Yanukovych has denied. Therefore, she has gone without treatment.
On April 20, 2012 Mrs. Tymoshenko was transported against her will to a state-run hospital near the prison for treatment. She refused to be treated by government doctors and once again was taken back to the prison the following day. It was during this exchange that Mrs. Tymoshenko claims she was severely beaten by her prison guards.
"Three strong men came up to my bed, threw a sheet on me and then started pulling me off the bed by force. In pain and despair I started defending myself as I could, and was hit hard with a fist in the stomach," Mrs. Tymoshenko claims."They tied up my arms and legs, lifted me up and dragged me out in the sheet. I thought the last minutes of my life had come. In unbearable pain and fear I started to cry and call out for help, but no help came."
This traumatizing event prompted Mrs. Tymoshenko to start a hunger strike in hopes of gaining world attention."I stopped taking food on 20 April with one aim – to draw attention of the democratic world to things happening in the centre of Europe, in the country named Ukraine." She said. "If we lose time we will get a new Libya or Syria in the centre of Europe, and then it will be late to extinguish the fire. I beg the democratic world and all healthy forces within Ukraine to start acting immediately and with joint efforts to eliminate this all-European threat. I say eliminate because conservative treatment is already impossible in this case. "
http://www.kyivpost.com/news/politics/detail/126540/ - April 24 Statement by Tymoshenko
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yulia_Tymoshenko - Wikipedia profile of Tymoshenko
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/ukraines-former-prime-minister-tymoshenko-goes-on-hunger-strike-after-alleged-beating/2012/04/24/gIQAUr2AeT_story.html - Associated Press article on Beating