Injured Ukrainian activist Bulatov vows to 'keep fighting'

3rd February 2014, Comments 0 comments

An injured Ukrainian protester whose account of torture has shocked Europe vowed Monday to keep fighting for democracy in his homeland, as he received medical treatment in Lithuania.

"Although I have been destroyed physically, my spirit has not been broken," Dmytro Bulatov said in a statement released by the Vilnius hospital where he arrived late Sunday for treatment.

"I will keep fighting, I will move forward and seek democracy in Ukraine. I won't back down," added the 35-year-old father of three who says he was "crucified" by unidentified kidnappers in Ukraine.

He arrived in Vilnius hours after a Kiev court ruled that he could leave the country for treatment.

A hospital spokeswoman told AFP that Bulatov has asked doctors not to comment on his condition.

Bulatov appeared on television last week, his face swollen and caked in blood, and said he had been kidnapped and tortured over his role in the anti-government protests that have rocked Ukraine.

Bulatov is a leader of the "Automaidan" movement, which has organised motorcade protests outside President Viktor Yanukovych's sprawling country estate near Kiev and has been targeted by police.

He said unidentified kidnappers drove nails through his hands and cut off part of his ear while they held him for eight days from January 22.

"They crucified me, nailed me, cut my ear off, cut my face," Bulatov said on Channel 5 television shortly after his release last week.

"I can't see well now, because I sat in darkness the whole time."

His bloodied face sparked international outrage, with the European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton saying she was "appalled by the obvious signs of prolonged torture".

The United Nations and the United States also voiced concern.

Lithuania earlier this month offered free medical assistance to any Ukrainians injured in the country's violent protests.

© 2014 AFP

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