pussy riot member announces hunger strike, as guantánamo hunger strike continues

by Tim Phillips

After she wasn’t allowed to attend her parole hearing today, Maria Alyokhina of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot announced that she would begin a hunger strike. Alyokhina’s fellow band member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova was denied parole last month. Alyokhina, Tolokonnikova, and a third band member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, were arrested in March 2012, charged with hooliganism, convicted, and sentenced to two years in prison; but Samutsevich’s sentence was later suspended.

A more desperate hunger strike, at Guantánamo Bay, reached its 100th day on Friday. Approximately 102 of the 166 inmates have joined the hunger strike. On April 26, the American Medical Association reaffirmed its long-standing opposition to force-feeding Guantánamo prisoners, but roughly 30 prisoners are apparently being force-fed regardless. According to Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel, who has been detained at Guantánamo for 11 years and 4 months but has never been charged with any crime, much less taken to trial,

I will not eat until they restore my dignity. … Denying ourselves food and risking death every day is the choice we have made. I just hope that because of the pain we are suffering, the eyes of the world will once again look to Guantánamo before it is too late.

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