Pul-i-Charkhi inmates continue hunger strike
KABUL (PAN): "Thousands" of prisoners at the Pul-i-Charkhi detention centre west of Kabul have been on hunger strike over the past five days, with hundreds sewing their mouths shut, some protesting inmates claimed on Wednesday.
But officials at the Directorate of Prisons put at 150 the number of inmates protesting against no action on clemency granted to them under a presidential decree issued April 28.
An inmate, who provided his name as Syed Murtaza, told Pajhwok Afghan News over the cell phone that prisoners held in the Block 4 were on hunger strike over the past five days. He claimed more than 5,000 inmates were on strike and 250 of them had sewn their mouths shut.
It was widespread corruption by jail officials that led to the strike, Murtaza said, adding cases of prisoners pardoned under the presidential decree issued on the Mujahideen's Victory day were yet to be processed. He accused jail authorities of seeking bribes in return for their releases.
However, Brig. Gen. Amir Mohammad Jamshidi, General Director of Prisons, rejected the claims as baseless, saying only a few prisoners were pretending to be on hunger strike in a bid to provoke others. He claimed the inmates involved took meal once a day, insisting none of them had sewn their lips.
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