Hunger strike in the Butzbach correctional facility

Since yesterday, prisoners in the Butzbach (Hesse) correctional facility have been on a hunger or go-slow strike, demanding, among other things, the right to unionize, the minimum wage and payment into the pension fund for their work in prison. These demands are joined by more than 140 signatories of a statement of support, 45 of them from Hesse as well as trade unionists and academics from India, South Africa and Brazil.

The section spokesman of the prisoners’ union/Federal Organization (GG/BO) in Butzbach, Jürgen Rößner, is harassed with 23 hours of confinement daily and cell raids. With these repressive measures, the management of the Butzbach correctional facility is violating the freedom of association. This is a fundamental right and is expressly guaranteed to “everyone” in Article 9 of the Basic Law.

The prisoners in Butzbach have been demanding a meeting with Justice Minister Eva Kühne-Höhrmann (CDU) for months, as the management of Butzbach Prison has not responded to their demands for some time. Kühne-Höhrmann let the deadline for a discussion with the prisoners pass.

The “Network for the rights of imprisoned workers” calls for 5.12. at 3:00 p.m. for rallies in front of the Butzbach correctional facility. “Fundamental rights apply to everyone and can
not be suspended for parts of the population,” says Jörg Nowak of the network. The network supports the demands of the prisoners in the Butzbach correctional facility because it is in the interest of all wage-earning employees to maintain minimum standards and abolish special economic zones in German prisons.