CrimeaSOS: political prisoners go on hunger strike due to inhuman conditions of detention

4 / 04 / 2023

The hunger strike is actually the only mechanism for drawing attention to the crimes suffered by the victims of politically motivated persecution, in particular, in Crimea. Head of Board of CrimeaSOS Oleksii Tilnenko said this in a comment to Krym.Realii.

Such cases of hunger strike are not isolated. Unfortunately, very often for our political prisoners (those Ukrainians who are in pre-trial detention centres and other places of deprivation of liberty), this is, in fact, the only mechanism to draw attention to violations as torture, which they undergo in the cells of prisons and pre-trial detention centres”, —Oleksii Tilnenko said.

On March 21, illegally imprisoned citizen journalist Iryna Danylovych announced a dry hunger strike. The reason for this decision was the lack of treatment or medical assistance in the pre-trial detention centre of the city of Simferopol. In the letter, Danylovych stated that she would continue her hunger strike until “the beginning of treatment or biological death“. According to available information, the journalist has not stopped her hunger strike for the 13th day.

Most often, the reason for declaring a hunger strike by victims of politically motivated persecution is the failure to provide adequate medical care or treatment. Lack of access to medical care can be considered in certain circumstances as inhumane treatment and torture. In addition, force-feeding prisoners on hunger strike is tantamount to torture.

“The very fact of announcing a hunger strike attracts attention. Accordingly, in order to reduce this effect, everything is done to limit the access of lawyers to the detained persons… There may be different reactions up to force-feeding, although we are not directly aware of such cases”, —Oleksii Tilnenko added.

The lack of proper medical care in places of deprivation of liberty poses a mortal threat to political prisoners. In 2023, it led to the death of two victims of politically motivated persecution in Crimea.


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