Hunger strikers injured in fall

[TamilNet, Monday, 21 December 1998, 22:02 GMT]
Two political detainees who were staging a hunger strike against their detention without trial at Kulutura prison, south of Colombo, fell from the prison's roof today, injuring themselves seriously, said sources. They have been taken to Nagoda hospital with fractured legs. Prison sources said the pair had jumped off the roof.

Thirty-six Tamils detainees have been on hunger strike, some since December 13, demanding that the authorities either release them or bring charges against them.

Four of the hunger strikers were admitted to Nagoda hospital on Saturday after their health deteriorated considerably, said sources.

Fifteen detainees began the hunger strike on December 13 and fifteen others joined in the action on December 15. On December 18, nine other detainees also joined the hunger strike.

Meanwhile sources said that the prison officials are having discussions with the detainees in an attempt to urge to prisoners to give up the hunger strike.

Detainees at Kalutura prison began a hunger strike in November last year with the same demands.

However, they called of the strike after government officials agreed to either charge them or release them immediately.

The prisoners have restarted the hunger strike this year, accusing the government of going back on its promises.

Large numbers of political detainees are languishing in Sri Lankan jails, without being brought to trial, say human rights activists. Some have been held for several years without charge.

 

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