In support of prisoners and prison justice activism in Canada

February 25, 2003
For Immediate Release

Three Aboriginal women imprisoned in a segregation unit at Springhill Institution, a men's prison in Nova Scotia, started a hunger strike last night at midnight.

The women began their non-violent action to protest the prison administration's refusal to address their long-standing grievances.
Specifically, the women are protesting:
1) the refusal of the prison to permit the women to attend sweat lodge ceremonies, in contravention of their statutory right to practise their religion in prison.
2) the extension of the women's unit closure at Springhill, which was to take place on March 31, 2003 and which may now be extended until September.
3) the lack of programs available to women that would enable them to reduce their security designations.

After months of segregation, the three women have begun this hunger strike as they await transfers into the new maximum security prisons recently built for federally sentenced women across the country.

Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies