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Tamil political prisoner in 10th year of detention begins hunger strike

A Tamil political prisoner in Anuradhapura prison has been hunger striking for his release since last week, causing a serious deterioration in his health.

32-year-old Sivapragasam Sivaseelan has been in detention for almost 10 years after being arrested by the Sri Lankan army on May 17, 2009.

A case against him under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) was only filed three years later in 2012.

Due to repeated court delays, Sivaseelan’s case has not progressed almost six years later.

He began hunger striking on January 5, citing distress about the uncertainty of his future and the recent loss of his only surviving family member, his father, who had campaigned for his release.

Sivaseelan’s father passed away last month on December 16. He had lost his mother and brother during the war.