U.S. 'Deeply Concerned' over Treatment of Jailed Ukraine ex-PMإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday the United States is "deeply concerned" over the treatment of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, jailed on disputed charges.
"The United States is deeply concerned by the treatment of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and other imprisoned members of her former government," Clinton said in a statement released in Washington.
Clinton said photos released by a Ukrainian rights group "further call into question the conditions of her confinement," asking that she be given immediate medical treatment and that the U.S. ambassador be granted access to her.
"We continue to call for her release, the release of other members of her former government and the restoration of their full civil and political rights," Clinton, who is currently en route to China, was quoted as saying.
Tymoshenko's family had earlier expressed fears over her health as the jailed ex-premier extended her hunger strike into a 12th day.
The fiery opposition leader's daughter Yevgenia Tymoshenko said the authorities were barring her from visiting her mother in prison on account of the May Day holidays and urged Ukrainians to call their leaders to account.
The former 2004 Orange Revolution leader began fasting to protest an alleged beating she received by three prison guards. Her supporters later released pictures of bruises on Tymoshenko's abdomen that they said backed those claims.
Tymoshenko was jailed for seven years in October in a highly controversial case that damaged Ukraine's relations with the European Union and prompted a chorus of calls for President Viktor Yanukovych to release his political rival.
But the authorities have since opened new hearings against her relating to tax charges dating back to the 1990s that could extend her jail time to 2023.
The U.S.-based Human Rights Watch meanwhile urged Ukraine to "conduct a prompt, impartial and thorough investigation" into the beating claims.
Prosecutors on Monday said they believed the bruises developed after Tymoshenko "bumped into a blunt hard object" such as a bed post.