Aletho News


Inmate in California hunger strike dies


Press TV – July 28, 2013

One of the California inmates who have for weeks been on a hunger strike has died in solitary confinement, according to the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition.

Billy Sell died on Monday, July 22, at the Corcoran State Prison in central California.

Sell‘s fellow inmates say he had been requesting medical attention for days before his death.

Saturday marks the 20th day of the hunger strike which started in protest against solitary confinement practices in the state’s prisons.

“Advocates are outraged at Sell’s death, noting that it could have been prevented if (prison officials) had negotiated with strikers,” the coalition said in its statement.

Prison officials have launched an investigation into the death which they claim is a suicide.

“It’s irresponsible and inflammatory for hunger strike supporters to say this inmate, whose death is being investigated as a suicide, died as a result of the hunger strike,” said Deborah Hoffman, a spokesperson for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, in a statement.

Reports say more than 30,000 inmates have joined the hunger strike in California where there are some 132,000 prisoners.

Inmate advocates put the number of state prisoners confined in extreme isolation at nearly 12,000.

July 28, 2013 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , ,


  1. Shocking, saddening and sickening…….. to realize that in American prisons people can die while being in solitary confinement!

    Even more shocking, saddening and sickening it is to also realize that in America people who are on hunger-strike and in solitary confinement can die!

    Utterly shocking, saddening and sickening it is to realize that officials deny any relation between a person being on hunger-strike and in solitary confinement to die while in prison!

    One would expect that officials would be keeping their mouth shut till after an independent(!) investigation would have taken place, before making any statement of what kind ever, apart from announcing the death!

    One would also expect that people on hunger-strike and in solitary confinement would be monitored 24 hours a day by officials, were non-confined people can be monitored by officials when there is no need or ground for…. The NSA does monitor American people 24 hours a day, and then it should be a piece of cake to monitor someone who is confined to a small cell, one would expect!
    It seems though that officials in America are more interested in maintaining face and order then in maintaining dignity and honor!

    As a human being, and as an American citizen I demand not only an independent investigation into the death of Billy Sell, to establish all circumstances that may have caused his death, as well as I demand a full investigation by federal officials into the reason, and causes why inmates are put in solitary confinement, if those reasons are valid and legal, and why local officials seem to have the power to refuse and or deny talks with the people on hunger-strike!

    As an American citizen I will contact relevant authorities and officials, as well as the Secretary-General of the United Nations, apart from the secretary of the UNHRC.

    People dying in American prisons while being in the care and responsibility of the American authorities is unacceptable and unheared of!


    Comment by masteradrian | July 28, 2013 | Reply

  2. Living in a nation where so many of one’s fellow citizens are imprisoned, locked away in cages, ought to be of concern to every citizen of that nation. The methodology to imprison human beings for such prolonged periods under inhumane conditions is a judgement against the society that engages in such practices. Why is that society locking up so many of its able-bodied men and women in cages. It must be a failure by that society to address the needs of all of its members. The large numbers of citizens who live in cages emasculates each one of us. We can never reach or hope to reach our full potential as human beings while dehumanizing a large segment of the population. There must be a better way for human beings to live altruistic lives.



    Comment by ribeekah | July 28, 2013 | Reply

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