‘Tortured’ activist vows to fight for democracy

2014-02-03 18:43
Ukrainian opposition activist Dmytro Bulatov being interviewed in Kiev. (AFP)

Ukrainian opposition activist Dmytro Bulatov being interviewed in Kiev. (AFP)

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Vilnius - Dmytro Bulatov, a Ukrainian activist whose description of how he was tortured by kidnappers outraged anti-government protesters, vowed on Monday to continue his fight for democracy, as he underwent treatment in a hospital in Lithuania.

Bulatov, aged 35, whose bloodied face and account of being "crucified" during a week in the hands of unidentified abductors have dominated opposition media since Friday, flew on a commercial flight to the Baltic state for treatment on Sunday.

"Bulatov has asked to pass on that, even though he feels almost destroyed physically, his spirit is not broken and as soon as he is able, he will continue on his path, continue the job that he has started and will fight for democracy in Ukraine", a spokesperson at the Vilnius University Emergency Hospital told Reuters.

Bulatov, who is suffering from severe headaches, declined to be interviewed for health reasons.

Intense negotiations with Western diplomats led to a court lifting a charge of "mass disorder" against Bulatov, on which police had tried to arrest him at a Kiev clinic.

Unrest erupted in Ukraine after President Viktor Yanukovich spurned a trade pact with the European Union in November and turned instead to Moscow for financial support.

Yanukovich returned to his desk on Monday after four days of sick leave, while the opposition pressed for further concessions to end more than two months of street protests.

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