Supporters of Ukraine’s jailed opposition leader, Yulia Tymoshenko, have marked the second year of her imprisonment with the release of doves.
The former premier is currently serving a seven-year term for abusing her office over a gas deal with Russia. Members of her ‘Batkivschyna’ party are collecting signatures urging the European Court of Human Rights to speed up hearings into her case.
“Batkivschyna” party member Oleksandr Turchynov expressed confidence in his fellow countrymen and women.
“I’m sure that hundreds and thousands or even millions of Ukrainians will support our call to urge the European Court of Human Rights to start hearings into the Tymoshenko case as soon as possible.”
But one Kiev resident said she thought that only if there was a change of government would Tymoshenko stand a chance of release.
Tymoshenko claims her trial was unlawful and has been physically mistreated, something Ukraine’s courts deny.
Her imprisonment is one of the key obstacles in the slow progress towards signing landmark agreements with Europe including a crucial free trade deal.