Hunger strikers can be force fed as last resort, says supreme court

Nine asylum seekers are currently on hunger strike in the Netherlands, the justice ministry said on Tuesday evening.

Three are in Zeist, two are in Rotterdam, three in Scheveningen and one in the high-security prison of Vught. The latter is also refusing liquids, a justice ministry spokeswoman told the Telegraaf.

Junior minister Fred Teeven has asked the supreme court to advise on his options if the hunger strikers’ lives are in danger.

Last resort

According to current affairs show Nieuwsuur, the court has said they can be force fed under certain circumstances – if their lives are in danger. The advice has not been made public.

Justice ministry emails in the hands of the programme also show the ministry is looking for a doctor at the Scheveningen prison hospital who is prepared to carry out force feeding.

The hunger strikers have all lost their right to stay in the Netherlands and are protesting at their treatment in detention centres.

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