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Kyrgyz inmates strike over ban on prostitutes

Inmates at prisons in Kyrgyzstan have reportedly gone on a hunger strike over restrictions that bar them from having visits by prostitutes.
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Prisoners of the penal colony No. 8 in the village of Petrovka, some 45 kms from the capital Bishkek, wave to photographers. (Vyacheslav Oseledko/AFP/Getty Images)

Inmates at several prisons in Kyrgyzstan have gone on a hunger strike over new restrictions that effectively deny them visits by prostitutes, a state official told Agence France-Presse on Tuesday.

"Prisoners at seven prisons have refused to take their meals," Joldochbek Bouzourmankoulov, spokesman for the country's prison sentencing agency, told the news service.

Bouzourmankoulo said the hunger strike was tied to new limits on prisoner visits. In the past inmates had the right to visits from their families and others, he said.

"But under the label for 'others,' they were bringing prostitutes to the prison," he told AFP.

From now on, only relatives with identity cards can visit, AFP reported.