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Prisoners In Moldova Begin Hunger Strike

Thomas Arendt

Thomas Arendt

CHISINAU -- At least 12 inmates in a jail outside Moldova's capital, Chisinau, say they have started a hunger strike to protest their poor conditions in detention, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

Thomas Arendt, a German citizen serving a fraud sentence in the Pruncu jail, told RFE/RL by phone on November 11 that the temperatures in the cells are unbearably low and there's no light.

Arendt and another inmate, who asked to remain anonymous, said beatings and even torture are common at Pruncu.

A representative from Human Rights Watch's Moldovan office told RFE/RL that it has information about the hunger strike but says the authorities have barred the group from visiting the inmates.

A jail administration official told RFE/RL that only one inmate has filed an official complaint about the conditions at Pruncu.

The same official said the temperature in the cells is 18-20 degrees Celsius.