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17 Prisoners continue a hunger strike in protest against unreasonable treatment by Colombian prison authorities.

The strike began on February 5th to show solidarity for 7 fellow inmates who had reached the 28th day of a hunger strike and were in critical condition. The 7 original hunger strikers began on January 8th in protest at their imprisonment in a maximum security jail despite the fact that they are all officially classified as 'medium security' prisoners. Conditions are substantially harsher in the high security prison and the seven men claim that they are victims of discrimination and unfair treatment at the hands of the prison authorities. Over hundreds of political prisoners are currently serving time in Colombia’s prisons. They languish in jails for being accused of rebellion, a sentence given to FARC, ELN and EPL guerrillas but equally to members of civil society: trade unionists, student activists, community, indigenous and Afro-Colombian leaders, human rights defenders – anyone who opposes the State and its policies.

Fighting for justice against military and paramilitary strategies of massacre, forced displacement and the appropriation of land, has won jailtime for many, a tactic designed to weaken and destroy community organizations.

An interview with a member of Project Accompaniment Solidarity Colombia (Canada)

and volunteer for Political Prisoners Solidarity Committee (Colombia).

by David Parker CKUT community news collective

To listen to the audio, click here