Prison detainees, hostages get food


TALLADEGA, Ala. -- For the first time in nine days, the 148

detainees, hostages and inmates at the Talladega federal prison ate a full meal yesterday morning, and doctors examined all nine remaining hostages and several detainees.

Warden Roger Scott said that each person inside the prison's maximum security Alpha dorm had hamburger, rice, beans, bread and coffee.

He said the Cuban detainees had not asked for food until yesterday. After the meal, prison doctors treated at least one detainee suffering from diabetes and the nine hostages. But Mr. Scott said the medical examinations were cut short.

"Medical staff were not allowed to fully assess the condition of the hostages," he said. "We have strong continuing concerns that the medical needs of both hostages and detainees are not being met."

Late Wednesday night, detainees released one sick hostage Kitty Suddeth, a prison worker. Ms. Suddeth is in guarded condition at a hospital nearby, but officials would not identify her illness.

The 121 Cuban detainees seized the prison Aug. 21, after finding out that 32 Cubans were scheduled to be deported the following day. They took 11 hostages, releasing one, Ed Turner, on the first day, and Ms. Suddeth on the seventh day. The Mariel Cubans are asking for an end to deportations and long-term detention in immigration custody.

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