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Yorgen Fenech Started Hunger Strike Due To ‘Degenerate Situation’ In Prison, Lawyers Say

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Yorgen Fenech’s hunger strike is part of a collective decision meant to protest the “unacceptably harsh conditions” in Malta’s prison, Corradino Correctional Facility, Fenech’s lawyers said.

“Yorgen Fenech has been held in a crowded room for the past months with a latrine shared between all the inmates, a shared one-foot by one-foot basin to be used for personal hygiene, cleaning of dishes, clothes and linen by all inmates, and not enough ventilation,” his lawyers continued.

“We stress that the decision has nothing to do with the colour of ones’ skin or race. Such references are deplorable and solely intended to inflame and twist perceptions.”

Prison sources had told Lovin Malta that Fenech’s hunger strike came after two new black prisoners were placed in his dormitory. However, his lawyers have denied that his protest has anything to do with the prisoners’ skin colour, and have said it is solely due to deteriorating conditions.
A total of five prisoners are involved in this collective action, Fenech’s lawyers told Lovin Malta.

Since the hunger strike was announced, Matthew Caruana Galizia, the son of Daphne Caruana Galizia, commented on the action. 

You can find Fenech’s lawyers’ statement in full below:

The family refers to reports in the media relaying blatant misinformation about Yorgen Fenech’s decision to take part in a Collective Division hunger strike. The reports are clearly issued to serve an agenda that appears to prize sensationalism over humanitarianism.

The following are some clarifications:

1. Yorgen Fenech’s decision to go on a hunger strike is part of a united decision taken by the entire division in response to unacceptably harsh conditions within Corradino Correctional Facility.

2. We stress that the decision has nothing to do with the colour of ones’ skin or race. Such references are deplorable and solely intended to inflame and twist perceptions. Yorgen Fenech took the decision along with the whole division based on the living conditions which by any measure are highly problematic.

3. Yorgen Fenech has been held in a crowded room for the past months with a latrine shared between all the inmates, a shared one-foot by one-foot basin to be used for personal hygiene, cleaning of dishes, clothes and linen by all inmates, and not enough ventilation.

4. The already degenerate situation has now been made unbearable in the sweltering Maltese 40 degree summer. Inmates sick with diarrhoea and vomiting all penned up in the same cramped living space makes the situation unbearable. This, not even mentioning the worsening of living conditions due to COVID 19 in the prison facilities.

5. It is of note that Yorgen Fenech who is still presumed innocent is only allowed 15-30 minutes a week to see his children and family. This morning this right was revoked with no apparent reason. The defence maintains that ongoing leaks of information are damaging to Yorgen Fenech’s fair trial rights and the administration of justice. The defence urges all parties involved including the Attorney General to exercise due diligence in protecting the aforementioned rights.

What do you think of this statement?

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