x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Family of Yulia Tymoshenko voices worry over health

The jailed former Ukraine premier extended her hunger strike into a 12th day and Kiev faced a political boycott of its hosting of Euro 2012 football matches.

KIEV // The family of Yulia Tymoshenko voiced fears over her health yesterday as the jailed former premier extended her hunger strike into a 12th day and Kiev faced a political boycott of its hosting of Euro 2012 football matches.

The opposition leader's daughter, Yevgenia Tymoshenko, said the authorities were barring her from visiting her mother in prison on account of the May Day holiday and urged Ukrainians to call their leaders to account.

"Mum has been fasting for 12 days. We are very worried about her health," Yevgenia said on her mother's website.

The former 2004 Orange Revolution leader began fasting to protest a beating she said she received by three prison guards. Her supporters later released pictures of stomach bruises on Tymoshenko they said backed those claims.

Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison in October in a highly controversial case that damaged Ukraine's relations with the European Union.

On Monday, the office of the European Commission chief José Manuel Barroso said he had "no intention" of travelling to Ukraine when it begins co-hosting the football tournament with Poland next month.

At least five European presidents also declined invitations to attend a summit next week in Yalta and signalled their plans to also miss the tournament.