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Ukrainian Students Go On Hunger Strike

14 November 2004 -- More than 40 students are reported to have gone on a hunger strike in northeastern Ukraine today to protest the jailing of six election observers during last month's presidential vote.

The Associated Press quotes Ukrainian media as saying the students set up a tent camp in the city of Sumy, and plan to stay on hunger strike until the court annuls its verdict.

The observers, from opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko's party, were convicted yesterday of resisting police during the 31 October vote and sentenced to 10 days in prison.

Yushchenko and his closest rival, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, received the most votes in the election, and will face each other in a runoff scheduled for 21 November.

Many Western governments and international organizations, including the Council of Europe, have accused authorities of
interfering in campaigning for the first round of voting.