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You're reading: Tymoshenko’s daughter calls on Americans to speak out for democracy

… Perhaps I ought to begin with the sad and amazing words taken from the Internet petition to free my mother, filed by Bishop Paul Peter Jesep, where he quoted the French thinker Montesquieu, and it says, “There is no greater tyranny, than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.”

My mother has been illegally imprisoned, maltreated and humiliated for six months by the regime which is trying to break her. This didn’t break her. Her spirits are high, I can say that emphatically, but her health is failing. When I see her I must lift her from her bed; she can barely walk. Yet she still works, and not only to fight all the legal mud that is being thrown at her, but to unify all of Ukraine’s democratic forces to challenge President Viktor Yanukovych and the repressive clan that rules with him.

My mother went into politics and put on her small shoulders the great task to free her country of injustice, absence of rule of law and corruption left from Soviet past, so that we, young Ukrainians, would not need to devote our lives to do the same. She, unlike many young entrepreneurs in newly independent Ukraine, managed to build a big, successful corporation that helped restore the lost production and trade ties between ex-Soviet states. By doing that she uncovered most major failures of the old system. One of the major failures was and now remains – corruption. She chose to go against the system, refused to be part of corrupt schemes and, ended up facing the system alone, letting it destroy her business, putting her, her family and friends behind bars and again on falsified charges.

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