According to information from the families of the 4 Sahrawi political prisoners of the Gdeim izik group in hunger strike in Kenitra prison since the 9 March, Sidi Abdallahi Abbahah, Abdallahi Lakfawni, El Bachir Boutanguiza and Mohamed Bourial will go on a dry hunger strike on Wednesday if none of their claims are accepted by the Moroccan authorities.
A dry hunger strike involves not eating any food or liquid.
“Dry” hunger strikes are rare. The body can not survive more than a few days without water, and death would occur in the first week in most cases.
According to the author of “First Do No Harm: Medical Ethics in International Humanitarian Law,” Sigrid Mehring: In medical terms, death by refusal to eat occurs in the event of a “dry hunger strike” (refusal of food and water) after about three to four days. The health risks increase when the striker was not in good health and already suffered from health problems.
The 4 strikers have been for 32 days without food intake, with substantial weight loss, loss of autonomy of movement, intense pain, blood loss, shortness of breath and other “normal” symptoms on a hunger strike that already lasts over one month.
The hunger strike is an extreme resource, and a valid political instrument. In the event of death of one of these strikers public opinion will be against the Moroccan authorities. Above all, because since the beginning of this strike, the four political prisoners did not even have adequate medical care, they were placed in isolation / punishment cells and were refused drinking water for days.
All the international organizations are alert to the situation of the prisoners and have accompanied the strike since the beginning, Morocco is responsible for the physical integrity of the people they keep in detainment. In the next days we will see if another crime will be added to the already long list of murders of Saharawis at the hands of the Moroccan government.