Prisoners stitch mouths to demand basic rights
30 January, 2013
KABUL: Demanding provision of their basic rights, some prisoners at the Pul-i-Charkhi prison said on Tuesday they had been on hunger strike for the last eight days.
Talking to the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) on telephone, one of these prisoners said they had been locked at a bathroom at the third block of Pul-i-Charkhi prison for the last eight months.
"We have been locked in a bathroom for the last eight months. We are political prisoners and we are nine in number.
Our condition is very bad. We have been deprived of our basis rights. Our demand to meet the prison in-charge has also not been accepted," he alleged.
Another prisoner, who said he has stitched his mouth, told the AIP in hardly-understandable words that some of their colleagues were in awful health condition.
"We demand the parliament, human rights organisations and Afghan officials to take pity on us. We demand our basic rights," he added.
Meanwhile, the chairman of prisons in Afghanistan, General Ameer Muhammad Jamshed, told the AIP the complaints of the inmates were false and baseless.
He said they had been asked by their colleagues outside the prison to raise such voices to present wrong conception about the prison's condition.
He said they were troublemaking prisoners separated from their colleagues in block two, adding that was the real reason behind their complaints.
"They are troublemakers. They have not been locked. They have not stitched their mouths. Their complaints are false and baseless," he added.
However, the Afghan human rights chairman Laal Gul Laal told the AIP that they had discussed the issue with civil bodies and United Nations, and that the parliamentarians and interior ministry officials would also be informed soon.
"We have received reports about the miseries of prisoners. We are concerned for them. There are numerous problems in the prisons. We will soon discuss the issue with officials of prison, parliamentarians and other bodies. We have taken this issue very seriously," he added.
Prisoners at the Pul-i-Charkhi prison have launched hunger strike in favour of their rights several times in the past. Official delegations also confirmed that some prisoners had stitched their mouths.
A recent UNAMA report said prisoners at various Afghan prisons have been mistreated. However, the Afghan government rejected the UNAMA report as false.
The Taliban have not said anything about the hunger strike of their comrades at the Pul-i-Charkhi prison so far.