Prisoners on hunger strike in Kyrgyzstan sew up their mouths


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The Independent Online

More than 1,000 prisoners in Kyrgyzstan have sewn their lips together in a coordinated protest at conditions.

The protest, which involves more than 10 per cent of the country's prison population, has escalated an ongoing hunger strike.

According to witnesses, most of the prisoners are able to drink through their stitches, and speak, but are unable to eat solids.

The government has blamed the protests on drug gangs, which it says have intimidated prisoners into mutilating themselves.