180 prisoners take part in hunger strike


News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 3 December 2014

After one week of hunger strike, the 180 prisoners in the La Picota prison in the Colombian capital, Bogotá, brought their hunger strike to an end after agreements were reached with the prison authorities. La Picota is where two political prisoners which JFC supporters will know well, David Ravelo and Huber Ballesteros, are being held.

The 180 prisoners, including both prisoners of war (combatants from the guerrilla forces) and prisoners of conscience (civilians imprisoned as a result of their political activity), were protesting against the ongoing lack of medical attention. The failure of the authorities to provide medical attention has lead to the death of at least two prisoners in recent months.

One of the demands of the prisoners is that the Colombian authorities comply with international humanitarian law which prohibits “cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of prisoners of war”.

The International Network in Solidarity with Colombia’s Political Prisoners details the problems in La picota prison as including: overpopulation, poor food, shocking health conditions, interference with family visits, physical abuse, and restrictions on speaking with lawyers and human rights observers.