Tuesday, December 05, 2006

HungerStrike Notes for Political Prisoners in Singapore

  1. I was imprisoned for only 10 days in QueensTown Remand Prison between 23.Nov2006 and 2.Dec.2006 after LKy famiLEE LEEgime charged me for Speaking in Public without PEMA License. I staged HungerStrike throughout my entire imprisonment and would like to note my experience for online sharing with other political fighters.

  2. To declare a HungerStrike by first declaring your political faith under Rep of Singapore's Constitution:

  3. The prison consider a prisoner had broken a rule after 3 consequtive meals provided had been refused or NOT CONSUMED. You may choose to face punishment or charge against you for that, or you may choose to by-pass this rule by doing one of the followings:
    • Discard whole or part of the meal into toilet in the cell. But this will not fool the prison, not for too long a time at least.
    • Let Cell-mates consume whole or part of your meal. You can not expect their full co-operation easily.
    • Chew a portion of the meal and then spit them back to the container. This worked for me!
    • Consume only a token part of the meal provide - e.g. just one single scoop per meal. This is up to yourself.
    • Make your own soup from the meal. This is another technique that I had used with success, basically I pour warm water which is provided with the meals into compartments of the meal tray to thoroughly stir-mix with the food inside. Let water dissolve and extract starch; salt; oil; vitamin & other neutrients, and you consume the water leaving all the remaining solid food behind.
    • Force yourself to vomit after meal, this is a technique of using finger to dig your own throat until you throw up, it is used by some beauty dietists for sliming. I had never tried on myself.

  4. The QueensTown Remand Prison accepted that my diet had fallen within their rules after I modified from totally rejecting all the meals provided to chewing a portion of the meal and spitting out. Before this, they had threatened me about facing some punishment, but you can see that they are actually reluctant to have to punish any political prisoner. By chewing some of the food and spitting back to the container, that meal is deem to have been CONSUMED.

  5. Refusing to drink is definately lethal, and the known period of life expectancy of a healthy person completely without drinking is about 3 days. I informed the prison at 1530hr on 30.Nov.2006 that I stopped all eating and drinking because I am aware that my political collegue Dr. Chee Soon Juan was ill in the same prison and the prison had refused to let me see him.
    • Within about 6 hours you will be able to feel the stress of dehydration
    • I was already on HungerStrike for 8th day and already in dehydration when I stepped up to a non drinking mode, stress built up to a weakening level on me in few hours that I began to feel giddiness
    • Prison's doctor put me on IV drip of saline + glucose after I completely stopped drinking for 10 hours, my drip was applied at 1330hr on 1.Dec.2006
    • My physical condition recovered very quickly after IV drip was applied
    • Because my sentence was completed on 2.Dec.2006, drip was removed at about 0800hr on 2.Dec.2006 and I was released from prison at 0955hr, the duration I was on drip was only less than 24hr

  6. One other alternative beside IV drip would had been Nasogastric Tube which is also a commonly used method to feed a stroke patient who is unconcious or unable to swallow. When a prisoner refused to eat it would be common for prisons to use this to feed liquid food into stomach of the prisoner. However, it is still possible for a very strong and uncooperative prisoner to force the liquid feed out via this tube during the feeding by pushing abdomen mussles strongly, causing the liquid to fountain out from the feeding end.

  7. It is now known clearly that prison adopt the measure of using marker pen to mark identification on all the political prisoner's meal tray lid / cover. My meal tray had always been marked with a big letter 'S' plus 'Housing Unit A' & '317' which is the number of my prison cell. The other prisoners' trays are not marked. The prison took detailed digital photos of my meal trays every meal both before & after the trays entered and left my cell, to try to record what I had consumed. They took very detailed note to make reports via the medical staffs about what I drink or consumed, passing motion or urine.

  8. Because I was on HungerStrike, the prison took my blood pressure daily 2 to 5 times, when I was on IV drip they came to my cell to measure my blood pressure & blood sugar even at night - just like the hospital. My body weight was taken 1 to 2 times a day. In the period of 10 days in prison, my blood sample was sent to SGH for lab test twice, also, Dr. Ooi tested my heart ECG at the prison's medical post twice, and my urine sample was tested 5 to 6 times within 10 days.

  9. There were many logbooks bearing my colored photos on the prison's desks marked 'SPECIAL WATCH' my full name & NRIC & prison numbers were on the front covers of each of these logbooks. Very detailed records were taken by each department daily about my activities. My cell was checked extra regularly 24hrs, about every 2 hourly, they will turn on the lights & open the peep window on the steel cell door several times every night. These observations would be recorded into the logbooks marked 'SPECIAL WATCH'.

  10. I am still in the process of editing this note. More points will be added in next few days.

  11. You may refer to more details in my other blog by clicking following URLs listed:


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