600 prisoners on hunger strike in Montenegro

Nearly half the inmates at a prison in Montenegro have launched a hunger strike to protest against conditions at the facility, a local non-governmental group said Tuesday.

"The prison confirmed that around 600 people are on a hunger strike," Milan Radovic of the Civic Alliance group told AFP.

The strike, which began Monday, is one of the largest ever at the Podgorica prison, which houses 1,350 inmates.

Montenegro's justice ministry said that "some of the inmates are refusing to eat".

The strikers are upset over the quality of the living conditions and the food, as well as a lack of medical care at the overpopulated facility.

They are also demanding that the Montenegro parliament adopt an amnesty law that would slash the length of their sentences by a fifth.