Some of striking prisoners could die, warns HR activist
KANDAHAR CITY (PAN): Some of protesting prisoners in the southern province of Kandahar could die if they did not call off their hunger strike, a human rights activist warned on Wednesday
On April 29, political prisoners in the cenral jail went on a hunger strike against plans to transfer them to a prison in Kabul. The inmates said they would continue their protest and stitch their lips together if their demands were not met.
The prisoners also wanted a human rights commission to visit the jail for talks on their problems. "I saw 13 political prisoners, who have sewn their lips, in bad health condition," said a right activist, who visited the jail.
Shamsuddin Tanwir quoted some prsoners as saying that 50 to 60 inmates had stitched their lips and could not be shown to rights campaigners.
Regarding complains of inmates, he said: "About 710 political prisoners are being kept in 30 rooms¸ which have only eight bathrooms." The prisoners also complained of poor and inadequate food, as well as torture at the hands of intelligence operatives and police.
Tanwir said torturing prisoners was against human values and asked the authorities to take serious steps for preventing it.
Last year, nearly 1,150 prisoners, including some 400 Taliban fighters, escaped from the jail via a 320-metre-long tunnel. The prison was also the scene of a mass hunger strike in May 2008, when 47 of them sewed their lips after complaining of torture and denial of fair trials.
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