Ukrainian Court Bans Protests Near Tymoshenko’s Prison

KHARKIV, Ukraine -- A Kharkiv court on Thursday banned any protests on the steps of the penal colony where Ukraine’s ex Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is serving her 7-year sentence.

The Kachanovskaya Penal Colony in Kharkiv region.

Tymoshenko, 51, convicted in October for power abuse in signing 2009 gas deals with Russia, was transferred from a pre-trial detention to a female penal colony in Kharkiv on December 30.

Backers for the opposition politician have regularly been staging protests on the steps of the colony, since Tymoshenko arrived there.

However, city authorities complained that protesters leave litter after them.

Kharkiv mayor Gennady Kernes has pledged that would not allow protesters to “put up tents and fight mimic battles.”

Tymoshenko’s lawyer Sergei Vlasenko said that there is a 24-hour surveillance in his defendant’s cell.

The woman has not had any sleep for almost three days as light is always switched on in the cell, Vlasenko added.

Tymoshenko’s lawyers have said her health had deteriorated to the point when she could not get up from bed.

Some media reports said she appeared in a wheelchair during the transfer but the pre-trial detention center authorities denied the information.

She traveled in a comfortable mini-bus, followed by a car with her 12 suitcases, the press service of the state penitentiary service said.

On Thursday, Ukraine’s Helth Ministry said that a medical survey has showed that Tymoshenko’s health is normal.

Source: RIA Novosti