Sweden: Prisoner on hunger strike to the death

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Long time civilian prisoner Natalia Pshenkina takes on struggle against the Swedish prison authorities with hungerstrike.

Natalia was sentenced for murder in 2005 and got in contact with political comrades in prison in 2011. She then contacted the current prisoner solidarity group Fånggruppen Syd – Prisoners group of southern sweden, for help with legal assistance. Natalias case has since been worked on as a civilan non-political side case on a personal level by individuals within the former group. Since 2018 Natalias case has more and more taken the form of organizing and fighting by juridical means for better conditions in the Swedish prison system. Natalia took this fight at the prison where she was earlier placed, KVA Ystad, in southern most of todays Sweden. The condition at KVA-Ystad has been growing worse for a long time by reasons such as over crowding and ending of all activities for prisoners due to severe lack of funding.

Because of Natalias struggle she was removed to high security prison Hinseberg in summer of 2019. There Natalia again took up the struggle and demanded better conditions for the prisoners. This was answered by utter silence by the authorities responsible for the complaints and demands by prisoners, as is the case in almost hundred percent of these requests.

Natalia was instead sent to a disciplinary facility and on from there to psychiatric prison, which sent her back. Since Monday September 9th Natalia is on total hunger strike,to the death, against the prison authorities at Hinseberg. She was last heard of on Sept 14th and then already after six days suffering from malnutrition and growing weariness. If more contact is possible with Natalia we will ask her to list the demands in her requests to JO which are the base for her hunger strike. As for the moment we don’t have these technical details. Natalias hunger strike is a fight against the prison authorities and an act of great solidarity also for other prisoners. Due to the sufferings she has takes for these desperate struggles, it is now high time to start counting Natalias case as a political struggle and support her as a prisoner after this measure. We thereby ask you to spread this message to trustworthy activists and group within the left wing groups and communities and to write to and support Natalia by letters or statements. We ask you to acknowledge that the Swedish prison system today stands as the worst example in western Europe after Italy and England. Political prisoners have been severely beaten and isolated for letters to them with political content. For prisoners classed as females, beatings are often precluded by stripping of the clothes with knife in front of male attendants and have been in severe cases been followed by being put naked in isolation cells for many days. Be careful what you write and be ready for the fact that Natalia may not anymore have the health to answer.

Our solidarity is now the only way that Natalia can pursue this struggle.

Members of prisoner solidarity groups in southern Sweden.

Natalia Pshenkina
Hinseberg 120
71892 Frövi