Swiss doctors, local authorities and courts were locked in a bitter stand-off on Wednesday over a jailed pro-cannabis campaigner whose life was ebbing away during a hunger strike, his lawyer said.
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Bernard Rappaz, a hemp farmer from southern Switzerland and a long standing campaigner for the legalisation of the drug derived from the plant, was in a very alarming condition in the prison wing of Geneva university hospital, attorney Aba Neeman told AFP.
Rappaz, who considers himself to be a political prisoner, has only had two breaks from a hunger strike since he was jailed in March, the last one nearly three months ago.
He was sentenced to five years and eight months on drugs offences and money laundering.
The 57 year-old has openly rejected medical assistance if he falls into a coma.
Doctors have refused to force feed him despite a supreme court ruling citing health risks, while the regional authority in southern Switzerland that took action against him has rejected a bid to suspend his sentence.
“I saw him on Monday. His condition is very alarming, he is being carried in a wheelchair, his sight is deteriorating from day to day and he thinks that it will soon be the end,” Aba Neeman said.
© 2010 AFP