Silver Lining

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Inmate in California hunger strike dies

Press TV

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.

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