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Former Polish minister starts hunger strike in prison

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Former Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski, who was detained and sent to prison on Tuesday following a conviction for abuse of power in a previous role, is starting a hunger strike, he said in a statement on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

“I declare that I treat my conviction… as an act of political revenge,” Kaminski said in the statement, read by his former deputy Blazej Pobozy at a press conference in front of the prime minister’s office.

“As a political prisoner, I started a hunger strike from the first day of my imprisonment.”

Police entered Poland‘s presidential palace to detain two of their former bosses on Tuesday, executing a court order to take the ex-interior minister and his deputy to prison and escalating a row between the head of state and the new government.

After winning power in October, Prime Minister Donald Tusk, a former top EU official, has vowed to undo policies of his predecessors, the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party, who faced accusations of subverting democracy during their eight-year rule.

The detention of the two lawmakers – Kaminski and his former deputy Maciej Wasik – were the latest salvo in a row that is likely to be one of many during a period of cohabitation in which the government and president are from different political camps.

Hundreds of protesters gathered on Tuesday in front of the presidential palace at the behest of the PiS party, of which Kaminski and Wasik are members, and in front of a police station where they were being held.