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Ukraine’s former PM calls on supporters to stop hunger strike

May 07, 2012, 16:44 UTC+3

“Please don’t harm your health, don’t take this trial on yourself,” she said

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KIEV, May 7 (Itar-Tass) —— Ukraine’s former Prime Minister and leader of the Batkivshchina party Yulia Timoshenko on Monday called on her supporters to stop a hunger strike they are on in her support.

“Please don’t harm your health, don’t take this trial on yourself, since I know it from my own experience how difficult it is to live a day, even an hour being on a hunger strike,” she said in a message posted of the party’s website. She said she did not need “such sacrifice to see that her supporters are committed to the idea, to the struggle, and there is no force that can crush them.”

She thanked the leaders of democratic states, officials from the European Union, human rights activists and public organizations for offering help in “protecting Ukraine from Yanukovich’s authoritarian rule, in protecting freedom and people’s rights and real values.” According to Timoshenko, the situation in the country is deteriorating day after day, since Ukraine is hostage to “several clans, which are misappropriating financial and material resources of the country and are building a dictatorship.” He called on her supporters to “save the country from this evil by the most radical means,” since “soon it will be too late.”

According to Timoshenko’s lawyer Sergei Vlasenko, on April 20 Timoshenko went on a hunger strike in protest of the use of physical force during forced hospitalization to a Kharkov-based clinic. Following her suit, tens of supporters also went on a hunger strike to show their solidarity with the former prime minister. Several of them have been hospitalized but nonetheless refused to stop the hunger strike.

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