US denies ongoing Guantanamo hunger strike

ed49000 apw2002011828588 US denies ongoing Guantanamo hunger strike

The lawyers for the prisoners said in a letter to the prisoncommander, that “all but a few men” are on hunger strike andthat their condition “appears to be rapidly deteriorating andreaching a potentially critical level.”The protest can best be summed up with a statement that the Centerfor Constitutional Rights (CCR) has sent to military officials.They wrote that “since approximately February 6, 2013, campauthorities have been confiscating detainees’ personal items,including blankets, sheets, towels, mats, razors, toothbrushes,books, family photos, religious CDs, and letters, including legalmail; and restricting their exercise, seemingly without provocationor cause.” Moreover, “Arabic interpreters employed by theprison have been searching the men’s Qur’ans in ways thatconstitute desecration according to their religious beliefs, andthat guards have been disrespectful during prayer times.”As days turned into weeks, there have been reports of men coughingup blood, losing consciousness and having to be moved to otherwings of the facility for observation. However, the actual factsand figures remain shrouded in mystery, while more controversysurfaced after Guantanamo officials gave their response to theaccusations.A prison spokesman has said that the Department of Justice willaddress the lawyers’ letter of complaint, he also claimed thatthere had only been six people on strike for a year now. Otherdetainees simply didn’t skip enough meals to be considered onstrike at all, according to military rules. The spokesman, NavyCapt. Robert Durand, said that “some detainees have attempted tocoordinate a hunger strike and have refused meal deliveries. Mostdetainees are not participating.” He tried to describe thereasons the inmates had for going on strike as blown out ofproportion, claiming that they “have chosen one routine searchin early February as the rallying point for theirgrievances.”Meanwhile, the prisoners have outlined a few simple conditions forthe authorities to consider if they want the strike to endinstantly: firstly, the right to willingly surrender the Qurans, soas not to incur the book’s forceful desecration at the hands of aprison guard. And secondly – to provide the Quran on an electronicreader; that way, no notes can be passed in a book and no furtherreligious violations need to take place.Guantanamo Bay holds around 170 inmates. There had been a fewstrikes since 2002, but while some served to change the prisondynamic and gave the prisoners the sense that they could standtheir ground on certain matters, the strike of 2005 effectivelyended this. It involved a large portion of that population, butdidn’t achieve success, as the military began tying people down andforce-feeding them liquid nutrients through tubes to preventstarvation.

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US denies ongoing Guantanamo hunger strike


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