Cannabis farmer Rappaz is taken to hospital

Bernard Rappaz, who is serving a prison sentence for cannabis farming and dealing, has been taken to hospital in Sion after 51 days of a hunger strike.

A friend, Boris Ryser, said Rappaz had been suffering from hypoglycemia, the medical term for a state produced by a lower than normal level of blood glucose.

He added that Rappaz from the southwestern canton of Valais, had received glucose injections. “This does not mean that he has been force fed,” Ryser added.

The Federal Court ruled in August that the authorities had the right to order force feeding to prevent permanent health damage or death.

The issue sparked controversy over Rappaz’ rights as an individual.

According to Ryser, Rappaz had lost nine kg in weight, had “drastically lost strength” and had the “face of an old man”.

Rappaz is serving a prison term of five years and eight months for cannabis dealing and other offences. He was in hospital after a previous hunger strike and was under house arrest before an appeal at the Federal Court was rejected. He was subsequently returned to prison.

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