Norwegian convicts in Congo end hunger strike

Two young Norwegian men facing death sentences in the Democratic Republic of Congo have ended a hunger strike they launched in protest over their move to a smaller cell in the military prison where they’re being held in the city of Kisingani.

Tjostolv Moland and Joshua French were convicted on charges of murdering their taxi driver in Congo in 2009. They’ve been held in prison there ever since, despite numerous attempts to get them extradited to Norway.

They reportedly were recently accused of trying to escape, and were moved to a smaller cell that they must share with a Congolese prisoner, who’s been ordered to report their behaviour and movements to prison leaders. French told newspaper Dagbladet that the move had “nothing to do with security and instead was pure punishment.” He said neither he nor Moland would eat until they were moved back to their own, larger cell.

Their Norwegian attorney is urging more involvement from the Foreign Ministry, saying that the prison conditions are “almost unbearable.” Moldand’s mother, however, later told radio station P4 that the two men had been moved to another cell with electricity and had started to eat again. A Foreign Ministry spokesperson said a Norwegian would be visiting them soon.

Views and News staff