July 8, 2013, New York – Today, in response to the resumption of a hunger strike by prisoners in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) at Pelican Bay State Prison in California, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:
We wholeheartedly support the prisoners’ peaceful protest against their long-term isolation in physically and psychologically devastating conditions. As our lawsuit notes, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Torture has found that more than 15 days of solitary confinement violates human rights standards, yet hundreds of prisoners have been trapped in the Pelican Bay SHU for decades, denied physical contact and social interaction, with effectively no way out. This is undeniably cruel and unusual punishment. As we continue to litigate these issues in court, we applaud the empowering protest undertaken by the prisoners and urge the California Department of Corrections to act swiftly to meet the prisoners’ demands and bring an end to this torture.
Learn more about the human impact of inhumane conditions. Read the hunger strikers's personal stories.
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.