Jean-Claude Mignon, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), today expressed his deep concern at the decline in Yulia Tymoshenko’s health and her decision to carry out a hunger strike in response to the violence and abuse she says she is suffering.

It is said in his statement posted at the web site of PACE.

“Having received information indicating that Mrs Tymoshenko’s state of health is worsening, I have met in Strasbourg with Ukraine’s Ambassador to the Council of Europe and members of the Ukrainian delegation to our Assembly.

It appears that Mrs Tymoshenko’s health has significantly declined in the last few hours, and her decision to carry out a hunger strike will only make this delicate situation worse.

I appeal to the Ukrainian authorities to swiftly grant authorisation for members of the international diplomatic community to visit Mrs Tymoshenko. Furthermore, it is now urgent that independent doctors are authorised to examine her health and to administer any treatment she may need.

Finally, I would like to renew the call our Assembly made in January to drop the charges against former Ukrainian government members, including former Prime Minister Tymoshenko.”