• "SMASH H BLOCK" by psd is licensed under CC BY 2.0
  • This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
  • "On hunger strike to save his Dad." by alisdare1 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Thích Quảng Đức
  • 5 July 1909 Marion Wallace-Dunlop, a Scottish member of the Women’s Social and Political Union, becomes the first suffragette to go on hunger strike for political status. Her strike was successful and Wallace-Dunlop was released from Holloway Prison.

  • September 1909 British government introduce force-feeding of hunger strikers in prisons as a result of Marion Wallace-Dunlop’s hunger strike.

  • 1913 Prisoners (Temporary Discharge for Ill Health) Act also known as the Cat and Mouse Act passed by UK parliament. It allowed hunger strikers to be released and subsequently re-arrested and imprisoned when their health had improved.

  • 25 September 1917 Thomas Ashe dies in Mountjoy Prison after going on hunger strike for political status having been sentenced to two years’ hard labour for sedition

  • 25 October 1920 Terence MacSwiney Lord Mayor of Cork dies on hunger strike in Brixton Prison. Joe Murphy and Michael Fitzgerald die in Cork County jail on the 25th and 17th respectively

  • 1923 Mass hunger strikes by Irish republicans including 23 women prisoners on hunger strike that February and 97 the following month. Peadar O’Donnell led the largest Irish republican hunger strike in history the following October, mainly consisting of internees still detained from the Civil War period

  • September 1932 Mohandas K. Gandhi’s first hunger strike over issues related to British attitude towards caste

  • Thích Quảng Đức

    11 June 1963 Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức self-immolates in Saigon in protest at the treatment of Buddhists by South Vietnam’s government

  • January 1969 Czechoslovakian student Jan Palach dies four days after self-immolating in Wenceslas Square protesting censorship

  • August 1969 Civil rights and anti-war protester David Harris, husband of Joan Baez, leads 40 inmates on a six-day hunger strike at San Francisco County jail against prison conditions

  • July 1970 Abdul Qader Abu al-Fahm becomes the first Palestinian prisoner to die on hunger strike, a result of force-feeding by Israeli prison authorities

  • October 1970 Angela Davis goes on hunger strike to protest against prison conditions, as a result she is moved out of solitary confinement into a regular cell

  • June 1972 Thirty-one IRA prisoners go on hunger strike in Belfast for political status. The British Home Secretary Willie Whitelaw granted them Special Category Status

  • December 1972 A hunger strike of 100 students led by a Roman Catholic Priest takes place in Nicaragua, calling for the release of political prisoners. This followed intense government repression following waves of strikes and protests by students, peasant groups and mothers of political prisoners.

  • November 1973 Priests imprisoned in Spain go on hunger strike over their separation from other political prisoners. Six priests were Basque whilst the seventh was awaiting trial for their membership of a clandestine union.

  • June 1974 Irish republicans Dolours Price, Marian Price, Hugh Feeney and Gerry Kelly go on hunger strike in Brixton Prisoner, London over repatriation and political status. The strike lasts 205 days due to regular and brutal force feeding causing huge physical and psychological discomfort and trauma.

    “I was scared stiff when I saw the tube and the wooden clamp for my mouth. The worst bit was when I couldn’t get my breath as the tube was going down. I really panicked then as I thought I was suffocating. It takes only a few minutes but it seems like an eternity.”

    23 Year-old dolours price letter to her mother from Ian Millar, A History of Force Feeding: Hunger strikes, prison and medical ethics, 1909-1974

    The same month, Michael Gaughan dies on hunger strike in Parkhurst prison on the Isle of Wight due to force feeding. This prompts a review of British policy towards hunger strike and contributes to the ending of force feeding in British prisons.

  • November 1974 Red Army Faction member Holger Meins dies on hunger strike in Wittlich prison, West Germany, having been force fed. After Meins’ death, 15,000 people protest in West Berlin and demonstrations are held in other European cities.

  • July 1980 Palestinian prisoner Ali Mohammed Shehadeh el-Jafari dies after being force fed by Israeli authorities during hunger strike

  • 1 March 1981 Bobby Sands begins hunger strike at Maze prison, Lisburn. Sands is elected MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone on 9 April 1981 whilst on hunger strike, and dies after 66 days on 5 May. His death prompted demonstrations and strikes across the world; a further nine Irish republican prisoners went on to die until the hunger strike ended in October, and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Jim Prior announced partial concessions to the prisoners’ five demands.

  • 1st July 2011 Hunger strike commences at Pelican Bay, a high-security prison in California against solitary confinement and forced interrogations. Protest spreads to thousands of participants across 13 prisons in the state. Two prisoners die on hunger strike in February 2012.

  • March 2013 Guantanamo Bay hunger strike commences, with 106 participating at its peak. One of the hunger strikers Jihad Ahmed Mustafa Dhiab sought an injunction to stop the US authorities force feeding him, and to expose video evidence of the force feeding.

%d bloggers like this: