News / USA

US Military: Guantanamo Hunger Strike Growing

The interior of an unoccupied communal cell block is seen at Camp VI, a prison used to house detainees at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay March 5, 2013.
The interior of an unoccupied communal cell block is seen at Camp VI, a prison used to house detainees at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay March 5, 2013.
Reuters
— More prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have joined a growing hunger strike that their lawyers say reflects hopelessness about their prospects of ever being freed from the U.S. detention center in Cuba.

Twenty-four captives were on a hunger strike as of Tuesday evening and eight of those had lost enough weight that doctors were force-feeding them liquid nutrients thorough tubes inserted into their noses and down into their stomachs, said Navy Captain Robert Durand, a spokesman for the detention operation.

The detention camp at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in
eastern Cuba holds 166 men captured in counterterrorism operations. Nearly all have been held for 11 years without charge.

The number of hunger strikers has grown from 14 on Friday, Durand said. The military counts prisoners as hunger strikers if they have skipped at least nine consecutive meals.

Two hunger strikers were hospitalized with dehydration, he said.

The Obama administration has cleared more than half the Guantanamo prisoners for release or transfer, but Congress has blocked efforts to close the detention camp and made it increasingly difficult to resettle Guantanamo prisoners.

Many are Yemenis whom the United States will not repatriate at this time because of instability in that country.

Periodic hunger strikes have occurred since shortly after the prison opened in January 2002.

More than 50 lawyers representing Guantanamo prisoners sent a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last week urging him to help end the current hunger strike. They said the participants' health had deteriorated alarmingly, and that some had lost more than 20 or 30 pounds (9 to 14 kilograms).

The lawyers said hopes were dwindling that the Obama administration would keep its promise to close the camp. They said more than 100 detainees began a widescale hunger strike early last month to protest the confiscation of letters, photographs and legal mail, and the rough handling of Korans during searches of their cells.

Durand called the allegations "outright falsehoods and gross exaggerations.''

"The claims of a mass hunger strike and an incident in which the Koran was mishandled are simply untrue,'' he said. "We take extraordinary care to respect the Koran and categorically deny any claims of abuse, desecration or mishandling.''

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid