Kurds Begin Hunger Strike in French Jail

PARIS (Reuters)–Five Kurds have begun a hunger strike in the massive Fleury-Merogis prison outside Paris to protest against their incarceration and demand they be held together–their lawyers said on Tuesday.

The five said their action followed the suicide in the same establishment in October of Ramazan Alpaslan–28–who had been held for nearly a year after police found a handgun and a list of members of the outlawed PKK Kurdish group at his home.

The five–who began the hunger strike on Dec. 15–have been held pending trial on mostly politically-related charges for periods of up to two and a half years–their lawyers said.

The lawyers recalled that a dozen Kurds died after hunger strikes in Turkish prisons in 1996.

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