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Merkel Slams Ukraine, Belarus

German Chancellor Angela Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel has said the citizens of Ukraine and its authoritarian neighbor Belarus are "still living under dictatorship and repression."

Merkel made the statement on May 10 in an address to Germany's lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, amid efforts to ensure that former Ukraine Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who is serving a seven-year prison sentence for abuse of power, receives proper medical care.

Tymoshenko ended a nearly three-week long hunger strike on May 9 in protest at alleged abuse, after being moved from jail to a hospital for treatment under a German doctor's supervision.

In a separate development, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatovic, today appealed to Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka to stop what she called "Belarus’s extremely harsh policy toward media."

With reporting by Reuters and AP
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