Lawyer Says Jailed Terrorists Have Abandoned Hunger Strike
Apr. 14, 1989
DUESSELDORF, West Germany (AP) _ Two jailed terrorists ended a 72-day hunger strike Friday after refusing a compromise offered by state authorities, said a lawyer for the inmates.
Several hours earlier, supporters of the hunger strikers firebombed two banks in West Berlin and smashed windows at a car dealership in Hamburg.
Damage was minor in the predawn attacks, and there were no injuries, police said.
Sympathizers of the inmates, members of the leftist Red Army Faction, have carried out at least six such attacks in the past three days.
Attorney Johannes Pausch said Christa Eckes and Karl-Heinz Dellwo announced they were ending their hunger strike after they turned down a government offer to be housed in small groups with other imprisoned members of the terrorist group.
Ms. Eckes and Dellwo had refused all but water and vitamins since Feb. 1 in demand of a special cell block for all 28 convicted Red Army Faction terrorists.
Authorities have declined to provide specific information about the condition of the two.
At least 30 other inmates were taking part in the hunger strike, but only Ms. Eckes and Dellwo had refused food continuously.
It was not immediately known whether the other hunger strikers would continue their action.
In a statement released by Pausch, Ms. Eckes and Dellwo said they were ending their strike to ''remove the tensions for a time.''
The statement indicated the prisoners would resume the strike if they saw no signs that officials would seriously consider their demands.
At the prison in Celle where 37-year-old Dellwo is serving a life sentence for murder and kidnapping, an emergency medical team had been standing by to render aid, said Hartmut Moellring, spokesman for the Lower Saxony state justice ministry.
Moellring said Dellwo was weak but still able to walk at times. He said Dellwo had refused to be weighed or treated by doctors.
The Red Army Faction has been responsible for carrying out assassinations and bomb attacks on West German businesses and on government and NATO military targets since the early 1970s.
Dellwo took part in a 1975 attack on the West German embassy in Stockholm in which two embassy employees were killed. He was convicted in 1977 and sentenced to two life terms.
Ms. Eckes, 39, was convicted in 1986 of belonging to a terrorist organization, forgery and illegal possession of weapons. She was sentenced to eight years in prison and is being held at the Froendenberg prison hospital near Dortmund.
A spokeswoman for a hunger-strike monitoring office set up in Hamburg said Ms. Eckes was ''in reasonably good condition considering the circumstances. But she was placed in the prison hospital against her will.''
The spokeswoman declined to be identifed by name.