By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — Around 500 supporters of jailed former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko have rallied in front of the hospital where she is staying in the eastern city of Kharkiv.
Tymoshenko’s supporters were holding signs at the event, which was timed to coincide with International Women’s Day, that read, “Freedom to Yulia!” and, “Congratulations, Yulia!”
A group of parliamentary deputies representing Tymoshenko’s Fatherland (Batkivshchyna) party brought flowers.
They claimed they were also bringing with them 15,000 letters from Tymoshenko supporters.
Tymoshenko is being treated in the Kharkiv hospital for back problems.
She is serving a seven-year prison sentence for abuse of office handed down in October 2011.
Other cases against the former prime minister are pending, including one about alleged tax evasion and her alleged involvement in a lawmaker’s murder in 1996.
Tymoshenko denies any wrongdoing, saying all charges against her are politically motivated.