Imprisoned Catalan government minister Jordi Turull has informed El Nacional in a letter that on the seventh day of his hunger strike he woke up feeling weaker than usual. "Today, when I got up, I felt weaker than usual. Today they told us that every day at 9am they'll check our blood pressure, sugar, oxygen and weight. And today they've done all that. All okay and in order," he said.
Turull, who praised the medical service and nurses of the prison, explained that he is still active and has signed up for the activity that the Lledoners penitentiary is organising to raise money for the annual charity marathon held by Catalan broadcaster TV3. "It is a run for charity, in which I will obviously not be able to participate, and which you can enter with a donation of at least €2.50," he said. He mentioned that in prison there is much more humanity among the majority of inmates than you could imagine from outside.
Turull, one of the four Catalan pro-independence political prisoners who are on hunger strike to denounce their situation and the blockage of their appeals by Spain's Constitutional Court, told El Nacional that he had written "as many letters as he could," but that he had his mind on "the visit expected at 11 in the morning" and especially in "the family visit on Sunday from my wife and daughters" .
He also wrote about the arrival of winter, with its drop in temperatures, which the prisoners are very much aware of. "The cold, with such high humidity, starts to hit hard. There are times when you have more sensation of cold than hunger, if you don't wrap up. The prisoners joke that we're not in Manresa, but Man-Russia," he said.
Turull added that he is still working at the the 'resort' - that is, the dining room, where he has the job of collecting dirty dishes, and that in this activity, he has now been joined by a Chinese inmate with whom he has no common language, not even English. "My mates at the 'resort' joke to me that he's a parrakeet," said Turull, referring to the nickname for those who, like him, are supporters of the Espanyol football club.
Those who mock
The minister was not particularly keen to talk about politicians and commentars who make light of the hunger strike, in an attempt to discredit it.
"We were warned that there would be people who would mock our hunger strike. We're aware of that. It goes without saying that I haven't been surprised by certain comments, nor about where they came from. There is a type of person who, incapable of achieving anything from what they do themselves, has to score points by unscrupulously criticizing what others do, from the comfort of the sofa, between gin tonics," he said.
The nine Catalan political prisoners have been held in "pre-trial" prison for periods of between nine and thirteen months so far, accused of rebellion and other charges related to the 2017 Catalan independence referendum.