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Harsher Methods Taken Against Guantanamo Hunger Strikers


A prisoner at the U.S. military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba says officials there are using aggressive new ways to force-feed prisoners on a hunger strike.

Attorney Thomas Wilner, who represents six Kuwaitis detained at Guantanamo Bay, says that one of his clients, Fawzi al-Odah stopped his hunger strike because guards strapped him to a chair and roughly force-fed him using thicker-than-usual tubes. The attorney said the prisoner also was deprived of blankets and was kept in a cold room to discourage his protest.

The U.S. military denies it is using punitive measures against hunger strikers and force-feeds them only to save their lives.

Wilner told the New York Times this type of treatment is brutal and inhumane. Human rights and medical groups also have denounced force-feeding protesters.

Guantanamo's chief spokesman said this week that the number of hunger strikers has dropped since December, from 84 to four.

Meanwhile, the Department of Defense says it has transferred four detainees out of the Guantanamo Bay facility. It says three were transferred to Morocco and one to Uganda.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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