Inmates in four jails in Kyrgyzstan have announced that they have launched a hunger strike.
Relatives of the inmates say the protest fast is aimed at calling attention to dire prison conditions.
Jailers said the strike was declared in response to an ongoing campaign by the authorities against organized crime.
Deputy head of the State Service for the Execution of Punishment Kalybek Kachkynaliev said the authorities had enough resources to keep the situation under control.
RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reported that negotiations were under way today between jailers and inmates.
It was not immediately clear how many inmates were taking part in the hunger strike.
with agency reports