A picture taken on April 25, 2012, shows Ukrainian jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko showing a bruise on her forearm that she says was caused by prison guards as they forcibly transferred her to hospital.
Credit: STR

BERLIN, Germany — Yulia Tymoshenko has decided to end her hunger strike, according to her daughter.

Yevgenia Tymoshenko said today that her mother would be taken to hospital tomorrow under the supervision of a German doctor, Agence France Presse reported

The Ukrainian opposition leader has been on hunger strike for 19 days, in protest at her alleged mistreatment at the prison where she is serving a seven-year sentence for abuse of office.

She claims guards punched her while attempting to forcibly take her to hospital for a back problem. She has refused to be treated by doctors appointed by the Ukrainian authorities, asking instead for German specialists or her own physician.

Tymoshenko has consulted with visiting German medics and will require help to recover from her fast, her daughter said. She is currently too unwell to receive treatment for her back condition, according to Yevgenia Tymoshenko.

Her daughter had previously expressed fear for Tymoshenko's life, saying that her mother was determined to continue her hunger strike "until a decision is made."

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Earlier today Ukraine postponed a Central European summit it was due to host at the end of this week, after other European countries threatened to boycott it in support of Tymoshenko.

The presidents of Germany, Austria, Romania and the Czech Republic and others had said they would boycott the May 11-12 summit in Yalta, the BBC reported.

"Due to the inability of some European state leaders to take part in the summit ... Ukraine considers it sensible to delay the summit," the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry announced today, in a statement cited by Reuters.

The conference, which was supposed to cover regional cooperation, would be rescheduled at a later date, the ministry said.

Of the dozen European leaders who had refused to attend, "several heads of states referred to busy schedule, while others to violations of human rights in Ukraine," according to the Ukraine News Agency.

Other leaders, including Polish President President Bronislaw Komorowski, had said they would use the meeting to raise Tymoshenko's case with Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych, Reuters said.

Germany is understood to be pushing for a boycott of next month's Euro 2012 soccer tournament co-hosted by Ukraine and Poland in solidarity with Tymoshenko. 

German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger met with Tymoshenko's daughter, Yevgenia, in Berlin yesterday to discuss her mother's case, the Associated Press reported.

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