Dilpomats step in US hunger protest

DIPLOMATIC moves are being made on behalf of Ipswich hunger striker Lee Rollings.The 40-year-old's Ipswich mum Pauline has even suggested to them to woo her son from his peace protest with tuna sandwiches.

By Jessica Nicholls

DIPLOMATIC moves are being made on behalf of Ipswich hunger striker Lee Rollings.

The 40-year-old's mum Pauline has suggested to the authorities in Atlanta, Georgia, that they woo her son from his peace protest with tuna sandwiches.

Today the situation is becoming more desperate as Lee's fast enters day 33.

Consulate workers have visited him at the Atlanta hospital where he is continuing his protest to try to highlight the dangers of going to war with Iraq.

Staff from the Foreign Office and members of the British Consulate can now liase with his frantic family, who are still in Ipswich, to let them know how Mr Rollings is doing and what can be done about his case.

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The Foreign Office will not comment directly on Mr Rollings's case. But a spokeswoman said they were concerned about his situation.

She said: "We have consular staff in Atlanta who are in contact with the local authorities over here and over there.

"We are very concerned that he is currently on hunger strike and we are doing all we can to try and resolve that situation.

"Our role is to give advice to the family, tell them what happens next, what is being done by the local authorities and offer them moral support."

Although he is now in hospital, Mr Rollings was previously jailed in Atlanta for walking naked through a fountain in a park. He said it was his way of trying to get God's message across to the American government not to go to war with Iraq.

His jail sentence had not been completed when he was taken to hospital and according to his mother Pauline, Mr Rollings could find himself back in jail if he calls off his hunger strike.

The Foreign Office says it cannot intervene in the legal affairs of another country.

Mrs Rollings, of Belle Vue Road, Ipswich, said she was pleased to hear her son was being well looked after in the hospital while he continued his protest.

She has been speaking to him most days since he started his hunger strike.

She said: "He is very tired at the moment, but he says he is still going ahead with it.

"He just needs to get his message across. If he sees his message has got across to America, hopefully he will feel he has done his bit and he will stop."

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