Prisoners from various Lithuanian penal institutions on are going on hunger strike on 1 and 2 September in protest of the new edition of the Code of Execution of Punishment.
© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

According to the Prison Department, prisoners mostly oppose a ban for their children to attend long-duration meetings, a prohibition to smoke inside penal institutions and a cap on the amount of cash that may be spent in a prison shops.

The Prison Department issued a statement saying that none of the new amendments are intended to worsen conditions for prisoners. None of the European countries allow children to attend long-duration meetings; instead, short meetings are allowed where physical contact is not prohibited.

The department also said that prisoners carrying out a sentence in an ordinary group may spend in a shop EUR 114 per month, in a disciplinary group - EUR 76 and in low security groups, EUR 152.

The Department notes that currently the minimum monthly wage in Lithuania is EUR 325 and people have to pay all the taxes, utilities, food, etc.

Moreover, a smoking ban only affects 3 percent of prisoners who are subjected to additional measures due to poor behaviour. For others, smoking is allowed in prison yards.

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