In Venezuela, prisoners stage hunger strikes in at least 16 centers

CARACAS (Reuters) - Inmates in at least 16 Venezuelan prisons are staging hunger strikes to protest against incarceration conditions and delays in reviews of their judicial processes, two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) said in social media posts on Tuesday.

Overcrowding, poor health conditions and food scarcity are among the issues plaguing Venezuelan prisons, with the Venezuelan Prisons Observatory reporting on social media platform X the death of an inmate earlier on Tuesday, due to lack of humanitarian aid for his "delicate" health status.

Peaceful protests have been registered in several penitentiaries since Sunday.

Human rights organizations Venezuelan Prisons Observatory and Una Ventana para la Libertad (A window for freedom) released videos on their social media accounts showing inmates voicing their demands from prisons. Reuters could not independently confirm the origin of the videos.

Venezuela's communication and information ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday replaced the country's head of the penitentiary affairs appointing Julio Zerpa in the midst of the strikes.

(Reporting by Mayela Armas and Deisy Buitrago; Writing by Stéphanie Hamel and Valentine Hilaire; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)