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Inmate dies after hunger strike

By Nicole Hallett

July 26, 2011

A PRISONER at Teruel Jail died following a five month hunger strike. Tohuami Hamdaoui was demanding a review of his 16-year sentence for raping and violently robbing a 13-year-old girl.

This is the first inmate to die in a Spanish prison for refusing to eat. He was jailed in February 2009 at Alicante Prison only being moved to Teruel Prison in May 2010 were his behavior was normal until he began his hunger strike.

The 41-year-old Moroccan man began his hunger strike in February and following several hospital visits to check on his health, which was gradually getting worse, he was admitted to Obispo Polanco Hospital in Teruel. Here he was restrained and force-fed in accordance with a court order.

Psychologists and prison volunteer from Caritas tried to persuade him to abandon the hunger strike and even his brother was contacted to come to Spain to try and make him see reason. By early July he was taken to Miguel Servet Hospital in Zaragoza where several medical tests verified that his condition had become irreversible.

He died shortly after returning to Obispo Polanco Hospital. The prisoner had always maintained that he was innocent despite the victim recognising him as her attacker, witnesses seeing him in the area and his friend refusing to be his alibi.

The only evidence in his favour was that remnants of sperm on the victim’s jacket which did not match Tohuami’s DNA, but the victim and her mother said that a friend had previously borred the jacket.

Source: Euro Weekly News

Photo: TS

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