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January 10, 2001

Boy on 10th day of hunger strike in custody battle

The Canadian Press
National Post

CALGARY - A 14-year-old boy who says he has been on a hunger strike for 10 days demonstrated on the steps of a courthouse yesterday over what he sees as unfair treatment by the justice system.

The boy wants to keep living with his father even though the courts have granted sole custody of him to his mother.

An appeal of the court's order has been hung up in adjournments for nearly a year.

"By going on a hunger strike, I want you to realize that I will die before I will let you take away any more of my childhood," the boy said in a letter to Associate Chief Justice Allen Sulatycky.

The boy said he has been living with his father for the past year. "I'm just out here because I figure it's the only way they will pay attention." He said he has been living on water since Jan. 1.

The boy's father said the hunger strike was his son's idea. "I don't like my son on a hunger strike, but it's his choice."

Neither the boy's mother nor her lawyer, Robert Boyden, could be reached for comment.

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