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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Solomon Islands courts will not be blackmailed by striking inmates: High Court CEO

Six more inmates at Solomon Islands Rove Prison in Honiara have started a hunger strike over a High Court decision not to grant them pardons or amnesty for murder charges.

According to Presiding Judge Justice Francis Mwanesalua who ruled the preliminary hearing last week, murder goes against the constitution which stipulated that everyone has the right to life and is not covered under the amnesty legislation for crime committed during the ethnic conflict.

It is understood, four of the the six prisoners who are facing murder charges, have applied for amnesty under ethnic conflict settlement legislation. The other two have joined the hunger strike in sympathy to them.

In response, the CEO of the High Court Bruce Kelly says the desatisfied inmates have the right to appeal against the court decision but he says the court will not be blackmailed by the hunger strikes.

Meanwhile, the Superintendent of Solomon Islands Prisons Barry Apsy says only one of the twelve inmates who went on a hunger strike a week ago is still refusing to eat. The one inmate who is continuing his refusal to eat is seeking to clarify with the court simulation to his trial date.

Mr Apsy also adds that he was awared that there are six others not related to the twelve who have also gone on a hunger strike but there action was not so much about their trial dates but merely on decision of the court.

Source: Pac Beat

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