Basque hunger strike prisoner to be force fed

Doctors force feeding De Juana despite his resistance

Doctors responsible for the health of the Basque prisoner José Ignacio de Juana Chaos have started force feeding him again via a tube from his nose to his stomach. However, to be able to do this they had to immobilize De Juana because of his violent resistance. Since last Friday when he managed to pull out the tubes himself, his decision not to accept any alimentation had been respected.

The decision to restart the force feeding has been taken by doctors at the Doce de Octubre hospital in Madrid because of De Juana’s deteriorating health. Although this treatment could produce serious side effects the prison authorities believe it is necessary in order to keep him alive.

The ETA prisoner’s health had worsened during the last few hours up to the point where doctor’s feared that he might suffer a heart attack due to his fierce resistance to being fed. Previously De Juana had not resisted being shackled to his bed in order to be force fed.

De Juana, who has spent 18 years in prison for 25 terrorist assassinations is now serving a 3 year prison sentence for threats made in 2 newspaper articles written by him and published in the Basque newspaper Gara. He has less than 1 year before he is due to be released. De Juana has been on hunger strike for 112 days and insists that he won’t give up unless he is granted an unconditional release.

Doctors are under instructions from the High Court to keep De Juana alive, given that he is a prisoner and still in state custody.