German President Cancels Ukraine Visit over Tymoshenko's Treatment
German President Joachim Gauck has canceled a visit to Ukraine next month, out of concern for the health and treatment of jailed former Ukrainian Prime Minister Julia Tymoshenko, a spokesperson has announced.
Gauck, a former human rights activist from communist East Germany, had been due to attend a gathering of central European heads of state in the Black Sea resort of Yalta in mid-May.
"The president will not now visit Ukraine," a spokesman said. The Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily said Gauck, whose role is largely ceremonial, took the decision after consulting German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Tymoshenko, 51, has been on hunger strike since last Friday when she said she was assaulted by the guards.
Tymoshenko, the main political rival of President Viktor Yanukovich, is serving a seven-year prison term in the city of Kharkiv following an abuse-of-office conviction described by many in Europe as politically motivated.
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