The military now admits that nearly 100 detainees are on a hunger strike.
According to a military spokesperson, there have been 8 more detainees from Guantanamo who are now considered on a hunger strike. This brings the reported number of hunger strikers to 92, according to the military. The Huffington Post reports that 17 detainees are being force-fed, and two have been hospitalized for “non-life threatening” health issues.
Earlier this month military personnel conducted raids in the prison camp, clashing with detainees and forcing the men out of their communal living spaces into single occupant cells. Before the raids, the military officially recognized only 43 hunger strikers, but lawyers and advocates for the men being held insisted there were closer to 100.
The Muslim adviser for the military, who goes only by his first name, Zak, for security purposes, told reporters last week, “There will be more than one death. I’m saying it right now, so next time we meet, you can say, ‘Okay, Zak, you told us.’” He also said that at the heart of the hunger strike is the “sense of hopelessness for Guantanamo prisoners,” many of whom are being held indefinitely and without trial. Human Rights Watch identified many of the hunger strikers as “pre-cleared captives,” meaning they should have been sent to their home countries years ago, but due to “Congressional restrictions on releases,” nearly 100 men still remain in legal limbo as detainees at the base in Cuba.
Photo: The National Guard/Flickr