On March 3rd, day #46 of his unjust incarceration, political prisoner Edwin Espinal began a hunger strike to demand that he and other prisoners be taken to see a physician. There is a flu-like virus circulating in the military-run, maximum security “La Tolva” prison. Edwin and other prisoners have been refused medical attention for several days.

There is an extreme water shortage inside the La Tolva prison where two political prisoners – Edwin Espinal and Raul Eduardo Alvarez – are imprisoned. On March 4th, all prisoners throughout the jail had access to water for FIVE minutes. This means that 1000 prisoners had to flush and use toilets, get and store drinking water, and shower in the five minutes that the water was available. Outside of the time that water is available, prisoners are forced to limit bathroom use because toilets are located inside the shared, enclosed cells. Plastic bottles are not permitted inside the jail making it impossible for prisoners to adequately save drinking water for their consumption throughout the day.

After the water was turned off after five minutes this morning, throughout the prison, in unison inmates began to bang on the walls and make noise in any way possible. In some areas of the prison, prison guards shot tear gas into the common areas that are shared by approximately 200 people.

The horrific and dire conditions inside Honduran prisons is of no secret to the Honduran and foreign governments. The construction of military-run maximum security prison have only worsened these conditions particularly since its so difficult for national and international human rights organizations to enter the jail. These conditions can only be described as torture.

Take action: ask the International Committee of the Red Cross to go immediately go and enter La Tolva jail to speak with the prisoners and get first-hand information about the health and living conditions.