CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) - A group of Venezuelan prisoners sewed their lips together in a grisly protest to demand a transfer to another jail, officials say.

The protest at El Rodeo jail west of Caracas took place amid a spate of prison shootings this week that killed four inmates in the South American country, national prisons director Col. Carlos Alberto Sutrun told Reuters.

"A group of prisoners sewed their lips together. They made a stitch with needle and thread," he said Thursday.

Eleven El Rodeo inmates had sewed their mouths up Monday and eight had not removed the stitches as of Thursday. They were demanding to be returned to a jail from which they had been moved this year following a riot. Sutrun said that authorities had agreed to the move.

Sutrun also said the protesters could still eat and drink "through the corners of their mouths."

Venezuela's overcrowded jails have a reputation for appalling conditions and violence.

Source: Yahoo