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Prison guards beat me, says Ukraine's Tymoshenko

Prison guards beat me, says Ukraine's Tymoshenko
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Jailed former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko has gone on hunger strike in protest at an alleged beating by prison guards.

Tymoshenko says she has been refusing food since Friday when jail wardens reportedly assaulted her during a forced visit to hospital.

The 51-year-old has been suffering from a bad back.

In a statement read by her lawyer, Tymoshenko said: “Three men of heavy build came to my cell. They came to my bed, put a sheet on me and started to pull me from the bed using brutal force. My arms and legs were twisted, I was lifted and dragged in this sheet outside. I thought that the last minute of my life.”

Prison authorities deny the accusations.

Tymoshenko is serving a seven-year sentence for abuse of power in relation to a Russian gas deal she signed as PM in 2009.