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More Inmates Join Kyrgyz Mouth-Sewing Protest

1,300 inmates have now sewn their mouths shut
BISHKEK -- The number of Kyrgyz inmates, who have sewn their mouths shut protesting the authorities’ decision to feed the inmates on hunger strike by force, has reached 1,300.

Kyrgyz State Penitentiary Service Press Secretary Eleonora Sabatarova told RFE/RL that an estimated 6,000 inmates in Kyrgyzstan's 13 jails and detention centers are on hunger strike.

Some 600 protesting inmates had to be transferred to medical units within jails for treatment for complications caused by the hunger strike.

The mass hunger strike in Kyrgyz jails started on January 17, a day after security forces quelled a riot in a Bishkek prison, allegedly killing one and injuring hundreds.

More Photos Of The Protesters From RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service