Free State prisoners refuse food

Sixteen prisoners awaiting trial are on a hunger strike at Kroonstad Medium B Prison in the Free State, the department of correctional services said yesterday.

Sixteen prisoners awaiting trial are on a hunger strike at Kroonstad Medium B Prison in the Free State, the department of correctional services said yesterday.

"The Sixteen detainees a are on a hunger strike because they claim the regional court has not processed their cases on time," said spokesman Puleng Mokhoane.

She said one of the prisoners had been awaiting trial for three or four years, others for two years and some for several of months.

Mokhoane said the striking prisoners had been separated into single cells.

The prison was continuing to give them food and was leaving the food given to them for longer in case they decided to eat outside meal hours.

So far no one had broken the strike, she said.

SA Prisoners Organisation for Human Rights president Miles Bhudu said the prisoners were on strike because there was "no rule of law" at the Kroonstad regional court.

The area commissioner has been in talks with them, while nurses had also engaged with them about the disadvantages of a hunger striking. - Sapa

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