Inmates at Hama Central Prison are continuing their hunger strike they began eight days ago, with two strikers fainted and others weakened. Syrian authorities continue to procrastinate in responding to the strikers’ demands to reexamine their cases and to annul their arbitrary death sentences.
On November 20, 2018, STJ's field researcher talked to inmates in the prison who confirmed the fainting of two strikers between 50 or 60 years old and the debilitation of others.
"On the fifth day of the hunger strike the Minister of the Interior with a small delegation of government officials visited the jail and met representatives of detainees for two hours. We, inmates, requested a re-consideration of the unfair death penalties and life imprisonments passed against some. We also asked for the intervention of ICRC and a Russian delegate in resolving the issue. The Minister give no promises or information, he merely stated that he would convey our requests to the High Command.", an inmate briefed STJ's field researcher.
Regarding the security and health conditions in the jail, another inmate said:
"About 80% of the approximately 250 prisoners are on the hunger strike. However, the prison guards are still sending the weekly food portions as usual. The security situation hasn’t changed, the government just jammed the communications network which made it harder to contact with the outside world."
The Military Field and the Anti-Terrorism courts in Damascus passed unfair sentences of execution and life imprisonment against 68 detainees in Hama Central Prison. The inmates revolted and started hunger strike to protest against the death sentences against 11 inmates, and the decision to transfer them to Saydnaya.