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Tymoshenko to decide whether to continue hunger strike

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Nov. 13, 2012, 5:13 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

A protester holds up a placard with a photo of the imprisoned former Ukrainian Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, as supporters of the Ukrainian Opposition party take part in a rally outside the CEC in Kyiv, Nov. 12, 2012.
© AP

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, the leader of the opposition Batkivschyna party, will decide whether to continue her hunger strike in the near future, Tymoshenko's defense lawyer and parliamentarian, Andriy Kozhemiakin, said.

"She read a letter [from her associates urging her to stop the hunger strike] and said she would make a decision in the near future and will make it public through her defenders," Kozhemiakin told journalists following a meeting with the ex-prime minister.

Kozhemiakin said he had passed a letter to Tymoshenko along with another defense lawyer, Serhiy Sas.

"My impressions from what we saw are quite sad and depressing. Because the 16th day of a hunger strike obviously does not benefit anyone. Despite being in a fighting mood, she looks like a person who has been starving for the 16th day. To be honest, I am afraid her hunger strike could lead to any of the consequences, of which I have told my colleagues," he said.

Tymoshenko went on a hunger strike on October 29 to protest what she saw as vote rigging in the recent parliamentary elections.

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