About 30 Islamists have launched a hunger strike at Mauritania's main jail saying they are being punished after a New Year's Eve escape by a high-profile prisoner facing death over an Al-Qaeda assassination plot.
The prisoners said in a statement sent to AFP that they had started the protest Monday at the main prison in Nouakchott, the capital, and would continue until all their demands had been met.
These included “visits by family members ...and easier facilitation for them, and for a doctor to be present on the premises round the clock and for faster access to prescribed medicines,” the statement said.
The prisoners alleged they were facing “punitive measures after the escape of an Islamist prisoner we had no connection with.”
Cheikh Ould Saleck, 31, on death row since 2011 over an Al-Qaeda plot to assassinate the president, was last seen by fellow inmates at Nouakchott's central prison at midday on December 31.