Hunger Strike

My wife asked me last night why people go on hunger strikes. "It can't be much of an inconvenience to their jailers, their not eating. It's okay if someone else is aware of their plight, so they can get sympathy, but otherwise, what's the point?"

I told her, "UN law prevents cruelty to prisoners, or else they put Amnesty International on their case. One of the provisions of that is that they can't wilfully starve the prisoners. Thus, they have to prepare a meal for every prisoner every day, or sometimes two or three meals. I think there's a minimum nutritional requirement that has to be met. They also can't just throw out a meal if a prisoner doesn't want it just then.

"So what happens is this: a prisoner goes on hunger strike and refuses to eat his meals. His jailers have to keep the meal around--usually they put it in Tupperware or Ziploc bags or something. And they have to keep it all around. After a few weeks of this, they start running out of Tupperware. Then they start running out of storage space. Soon afterwards, they crack and let the prisoners go.

"Unfortunately, one of the provisions of the law is that the prisoner, when freed, has to eat all the food that's been stored away for him. A lot of them need stomach pumps as soon as they reach friendly territory."

My wife said, "You've been reading too much Dave Barry."

Back to my talk.bizarre page...

The Den of Ubiquity/ Aaron V. Humphrey / alfvaen@gmail.com