Hunger strike at Guantanamo grows - CNN - Sep 13, 2005

Under the radar but important -- law
Hunger strike at Guantanamo grows
Eighteen detainees being force-fed; 128 now refusing to eat

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The number of Guantanamo Bay detainees taking part in a hunger strike has swelled to about a quarter of the prison population over the past month, according to Pentagon officials.

Since August 8, the number of detainees refusing food has slowly increased from several dozen to 128, according to the Pentagon.

Eighteen prisoners are in medical facilities forcibly receiving nutrition intravenously or through nasal tubes, Pentagon officials said.

Last month officials said 89 detainees were refusing to eat and 12 were receiving forced nutrition in the medical facility.

Since the prison camp at the U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, opened in January 2002, there have been numerous hunger strikes by detainees. No prisoner has died from starvation, according to Pentagon officials.

"Regulations are the same at Guantanamo as they are in the U.S. prison system, and prisoners will not be allowed to kill themselves by starving themselves," a Pentagon official said.

Pentagon officials said the detainees are protesting their continued detention, but past detainee protests have occurred because of perceived treatment of the Quran by prison guards and treatment of the detainees by guards.

The previous hunger strike at the prison, known as Camp Delta, was in late July, when 68 detainees stopped eating.

All of the detainees started eating again on their own before the August 8 hunger strike, according to Pentagon officials.

The Washington Post reported Monday that lawyers for some of the detainees claim their clients are refusing to eat to protest their detention as well as the beatings they allege some detainees are receiving from prison guards.

Pentagon officials flatly deny that any of the detainees are beaten, including uncooperative ones.

CNN.com - Hunger strike at Guantanamo grows - Sep 13, 2005


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