Worldview

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(AP/Tymoshenko Press Service, FILE)
Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko looks out from a prison window in Kiev, Ukraine, where she is suffering from a severe spinal condition and has launched a hunger strike in protest against alleged violence by prison guards.

May. 01, 2012

Hunger strikes are the most desperate form of protest and they seem to be growing in number around the world.

In Bahrain, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, a prominent political activist, has been on a hunger strike for nearly three months to protest his arrest. In Israeli prisons, nearly 2000 Palestinians are currently denying food and there is concern that several are close to death. And in Ukraine, former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko refuses to give up on her own hunger strike, which began on April 21. Some governments, like the United States, turn to force feeding. Others have left hunger strikers to die.

Tuesday, Worldview spends the hour with a panel of experts to find out why this centuries-old form of political protest seems to be spreading. Ali Abunimah of the Electronic Intifada blog, Sondra Crosby, professor of medicine at Boston University, and political scientist Alexander Motyl discuss prominent cases.