Italian lifers, families stage hunger strike

Hundreds of Italian prisoners condemned to life in jail, along with thousands of their relatives, began a hunger strike Saturday.

Italian lifers, families stage hunger strike
Hundreds of Italian prisoners condemned to life in jail, along with thousands of their relatives, began a hunger strike Saturday to back their call for the punishment to be abolished, a prisoners support group said.

The Florence-based Pantagruel association published letters on its website from lifers and members of their families in support of its campaign dubbed "never say forever."

One inmate held in the northern prison of Uccardione, Antonio Morano, said he had been confined for 42 years, while another said that all they could hope for was death.

The daily Repubblica reported that 755 out of the 1,294 prisoners sentenced to life terms would be staging the protest, along with 10,000 other people, including prisoners' families, politicians and other prison inmates serving lesser sentences.

It said that 40 of the hunger strikers were resolved to carry on their action to the end.

Last May more than 300 lifers wrote to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano asking for the death sentence to be brought back, saying that they were fed up of "dying a little every day."

While life means life in Italy, leave from prison is possible after 10 years, temporary release after 20 years and conditional freedom after 26 years in case of good behaviour.

According to La Repubblica, out of the 1,294 sentenced to life terms, 97 have been in jail for more than 26 years.


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 02 Aralık 2007, 11:48
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