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Joran van der Sloot goes on hunger strike to protest prison switch

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January 13, 2012: Dutch citizen Joran Van der Sloot walks inside the courtroom during the reading of his verdict, in the Lurigancho prison in Lima. (Reuters)

Joran van der Sloot -- the prime suspect in the 2005 disappearance of U.S. teen Natalee Holloway – has gone on a hunger strike to protest his transfer to a maximum security jail in Peru.

Peruvian prison spokeswoman Janeth Sanchez told The Associated Press that the 27-year-old Dutchman was moved Sunday to Challapalca, located high in the Andes near the Bolivian border. He previously was held at a prison north of Lima.

Authorities said van der Sloot -- who is serving a 28-year term for murdering Stephany Flores in 2010 -- was moved because he threatened to kill the warden of the Piedras Gordas prison, where he was imprisoned.

Van der Sloot said he has gone on the hunger strike to protest the move, the BBC reports.

Guards at Piedras Gordas said van der Sloot became agitated after they took away a mobile phone that he smuggled into his cell, but van der Sloot claims the warden gave him the device as “a set-up.”

His lawyer added that van der Sloot has "a problem with the director” of the Piedras Gordas facility, according to the BBC.

Van der Sloot was the last person seen with Holloway, who vanished while on a graduation trip to Aruba. He is imprisoned for killing Flores, a 21-year-old Peruvian business student. He married his pregnant Peruvian girlfriend in a prison ceremony last month.

Click for more from the BBC.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.