California inmates ended on Thursday their over two-month hunger strike in “nonviolent peaceful protest of . . . decades of indefinite state-sanctioned torture, via long term solitary confinement.”
The historic strike began at the Security Housing Unit (SHU) in Pelican Bay State Prison but quickly spread to other prisons across the state, and included as many as 30,000 inmates at one point.
In a statement, representatives of the hunger strikers said that they “deemed it to be in the best interest of our cause to suspend our hunger strike action until further notice.”
In addition to the human rights violations from long-term solitary confinement, California prison officials were slammed by human rights advocates for getting a green light to force-feed prisoners during the hunger strike, which stands in violation of international laws.
During the hunger strike, prison officials punished strike leaders with what the inmates called “more torturous conditions than in the [solitary housing units].
The Center for Constitutional Rights, which applauded the inmates’ struggle for dignity and humane treatment, said that the protest “secured legislative hearings that will examine the disgraceful and inhumane conditions that thousands of prisoners in solitary confinement have endured for many years.” The group added that while the hearings are welcome, “the unconstitutional conditions that sparked the strike remain.”
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