DUBAI // The two men who took part in a hunger strike at Dubai Central Prison have begun eating again after prosecutors agreed to review their cases.
The Belgian Olivier Loeb and the Irishman Christopher Renehan, both jailed for bad cheques, began their strike on April 16.
They were reportedly joined by 40 other inmates convicted of similar charges, all calling for a reform of cheque-fraud laws.
Mr Loeb's wife, who asked not to have her first name used, said public prosecutors met the men to negotiate an end to the strike at the prison, and at the Dubai Public Prosecutor's office.
"On Monday he was taken to see the Chief Prosecutor Hamad Al Khalafi and I was called in as well," Mrs Loeb said.
Mr Al Khalafi reportedly told them his office had been studying the matter and there was no need to continue with the strike.
"They asked us not to place any more pressure on them and gave us assurances they will review the matter in detail and study his claims," Mrs Loeb said.
Christopher Renehan's father Michael said prosecutors had visited his son and told him they would review his claims.
"He is back to eating now," Mr Renehan said.
"He asked them how can he repay his debts while he is in jail and asked them to review his case to allow him to be able to repay them.
"He does not mind serving his sentence but the issue is the repayment ordered. He cannot do it from jail."
Mr Renehan said his son was content with the assurances offered. He said he might travel from Ireland to visit him next week.
"I spoke to him yesterday and he sounded happy and better," the father said.
Mrs Loeb said her husband had agreed to cease the hunger strike as a sign of good faith and to "give them the benefit of the doubt".
Mr Loeb was taken to hospital for a second time last Friday after having been on hunger strike for nearly four weeks.
"Over the last week he stopped fluids and I received a call from the wives of other inmates who told me he was rushed to Rashid Hospital," she said.
"The doctor there told me that if he does not eat and receive an immediate glucose IV he would die within two days, so I had to convince him."
Mrs Loeb said her husband was returned to the Central Jail after his condition stabilised.
"When I saw him at the prosecutor's office he looked like a skeleton," she said.
"He is a big guy who is 1.8 metres tall and weighs 126kg, but on Monday he looked like he weighed 70kg."