ACT prisoner granted parole, but no end in sight for hunger strike

Islam is serving multiple sentences for violent offences including the stabbing of a man at the Ainslie shops in 2008, to which he was sentenced for eight years in prison, and a subsequent vicious assault which put another prisoner in hospital for a month.

He began his hunger strike on December 9, and on January 10 was transferred to Canberra Hospital where he remains in a small private room in a general ward. He is shackled to his bed, and under the constant supervision of corrective services officers. He is not eating, and is drinking only water.

In a statement issued on Friday, ACT Corrections said it was unable to «provide specific comment on matters relating to an individual detainee due to privacy considerations».

One of Islam’s key demands, repeated in two interviews, has been for a «one-on-one» audience with ACT Corrections executive director Jon Peach or a delegate equally empowered to listen and seek to address his concerns.

The ACT government responded to this demand by allowing Islam to have an audience with the ACT Human Rights Commissioner Dr Helen Watchirs. However, this failed to resolve the deadlock.

During his time in jail, Islam has made more than 20 separate claims of discrimination against corrections officers, and sought orders requiring prison management to ensure officers and contractors did not breach the Human Rights Act.




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