Carlos the Jackal on hunger strike in French jail

1st December 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 30 (AFP) - The terrorist mastermind known as Carlos the Jackal has launched a hunger strike in protest at being kept in solitary confinement in a French jail, prison authorities and his lawyer said Tuesday.

PARIS, Nov 30 (AFP) - The terrorist mastermind known as Carlos the Jackal has launched a hunger strike in protest at being kept in solitary confinement in a French jail, prison authorities and his lawyer said Tuesday.

Carlos, 54, the Venezuelan-born terrorist whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, started refusing to eat on November 25, the officials and Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, his attorney and wife, said.

Authorities said the infamous inmate - who was sentenced to life in prison in 1997 for a triple murder committed in Paris in 1975, and is still under investigation in France on suspicion of involvement in four bomb attacks - has been subject to disciplinary restrictions since last Friday for refusing to pass through a metal detector.

Carlos last held a hunger strike May 5 after being put in isolation for another disciplinary breach, but gave that up the following day when he was returned to a regular cell in the Fresnes jail southeast of Paris.

Coutant-Peyre, who married Carlos in prison, said her client had lost 23 kilogram’s (51 pounds) in recent months because of diabetes she said was brought on by his incarceration.

She complained that he was being kept in solitary confinement, subject to "provocative and unjustified" body searches and refused access to EUR 3,000 (USD 4,000) in an account for prison purchases.

When not being punished, he is allowed visits only from his lawyers and French priest Michel Lelong, a specialist on the Arab world known for his criticism of Israel, and is allowed to walk in the prison courtyard twice a day for an hour each time.

His other family members cannot visit him because of court restrictions and his 18-year-old daughter Elba Rosa Ramirez-Kopp last wrote him two years ago.

The former Marxist-Leninist radical mastermind, who once boasted that his plots had killed more than 1,500 people over those two decades, was captured by French intelligence services in Sudan in 1994 after a series of operations in the 1970s and 1980s that outraged the world, including the spectacular December 1975 kidnapping of oil ministers during an OPEC meeting in Vienna.

Carlos is claimed to have served as an inspiration for Frederick Forsyth's best-selling novel "The Day of the Jackal", which hit the big screen in 1973.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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