KABUL (AFP) - About 300 Taliban suspects have been on a hunger strike in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar prison for a week demanding fair trials, rights groups and local lawmakers said Sunday. The prisoners, most of them captured in connection with a Taliban-led insurgency, stopped eating last Sunday in protest at the handling of their trials by local authorities, one lawmaker said. "About 300 prisoners have been on a hunger strike (for) the past one week. About 20 of them have sewn their lips," said Ahmad Wali Karzai, head of the Kandahar provincial council. It was not independently confirmed they had sewn their lips. Of the group some had already been found guilty of various offences but claimed their trials were not fair. Others are awaiting trial but say they are being forced into admitting their guilt. "They are complaining that their trials have been unjust and are demanding their cases be reviewed by an independent committee," Karzai, the younger brother of President Hamid Karzai, told AFP. The politician said that some prisoners had told him authorities were using torture to force them to confess. The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission in Kandahar confirmed the strike and called on authorities to deal with the issue. "We visited the jail. About 300 political prisoners are on hunger strike. This is a matter of concern for us... we call on the government to address the issue immediately," the rights group's regional office said in a statement. Provincial police Sayed Agha Saqeb said "the situation is under control."