Condition of fasting prisoners worsens
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 13 March 2007, 00:39 GMT]
The condition of 43 Tamil political prisoners on hunger strike for the third consecutive day in Welikada Prison is fast deteriorating, prison officials said. The prisoners have been held in Welikade for more than a year without charges. The prisoners are demanding immediate release or be provided bail, and their cases be transferred to courts in their own districts, relatives of the prisoners said.
The political prisoners from the districts of Jaffna, Batticaloa, Mannar, Kilinochchi, Badulla and Hatton have been kept in the prison for more than one year, without any trial. The prisoners said they will giveup their fast only when the Minister of Justice, Dylan Perera, visits them and gives due assurances.
Six Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarians, Selvam Adaikkalanathan, Vanni District, K. Sivanesan, Jaffna District, K. Pathmanathan, Amparai District, S. Jeyananthamoorthy, Batticaloa District, P. Ariyaneththiran, Batticaloa District, and M. K. Eelaventhan, visited the political prisoners on Sunday and requested them to give up their fasting until Mr. Dylan Perera, who is away from the country, returns home.
The political prisoners refused to accede to the request.
Earlier, 22 Tamil political prisoners from neighboring Magazine Prison gave up fasting campaign after the Minister of Justice gave assurances that he will expedite legal procedures of their cases.