Prisoner chops off ear in protest

An inmate at a jail in central Sweden has cut off his ear in protest at restrictions on visits from his family.

The prisoner is one of several on hunger strike in the high security wing of Kumla Jail. According to Expressen, the man chopped off his ear using butter knife, which he sharpened on window ledges and door frames.

The inmate was taken to hospital immediately after the incident on Monday. Kumla Prison governor Kenneth Gustavsson told Expressen that staff “had no indication” that the prisoner intended to harm himself.

The hunger strikers are protesting at what they say are excessive restrictions on family visits. They are limited to two hours of supervised visits every week. Visits are only allowed on weekdays at particular times.

Led by notorious police killer Tony Olsson, the prisoners and their families claim that they are not allowed physical contact during visits, although the prison service deny that such a ban exists.