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Kandahar jail inmates go on hunger strike

Kandahar jail inmates go on hunger strike

Apr 29, 2012 - 20:29

KANDAHAR CITY (PANinfo-icon): Political prisoners in the Kandahar central jail have gone on a hunger strike against their planned transfer to a prison in the central capital Kabulinfo-icon, an official said on Sunday.

The inmates, most of them political prisoners, say they will continue the hunger strike and sew up their lips if their demands were not approved.  

Javed Faisal, the governor's spokesman, confirmed that some inmates had been on strike since last night. “Each bloc has 20 to 40 political prisoners.”

He told Pajhwok Afghan News the inmates had gone on strike because the police headquarters planned to transfer some of them to Kabul due to a lack of space, especially those who were on the verge of serving their terms.

He dismissed as baseless the claim of a prisoner that police had desecrated the Quraninfo-icon, saying all jail officials were Muslim and they respected the holy book. He said prayer leaders had been appointed at the jail mosqueinfo-icon.

Some of the prisoners had been detained in connection with the insurgency and having ties to foreign militants, he said. Though there was no phone facility for the inmates, yet some found access to phones to contact journalists, the spokesman added.

Security officials were trying to resolve inmates’ problems and a healthinfo-icon team had been appointed to oversee examine the protesting prisoners.

One of the protesting prisoners, Sardar Mohammad, said he had been in jail for political reasons over the past nine months.

"Inmates held in political blocs were reciting the Quran a day earlier when security officials came and started searching us. One of the inmates got a bit late standing up for a search. A policeman desecrated the Quran in front of him,” he alleged.

The move provoked other prisoners, who started protesting the blasphemous act, Mohammad said, claiming other policemen opened fire on them from a security tower, injuring two inmates.

As a mark of protest, 700 inmates in political blocs went on a hunger strike. He said the prisoners had warned to stitch up their lips if journalists and human rights activists were not allowed to visit them.


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