40 US Navy medical personnel arrived at Guantanamo over the weekend to help care for the detainees who are still on a hunger strike.
According to official reports, nearly two-thirds of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay are now participating in the hunger strike that began in February. al-Jazeera reports, Guantanamo spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Samuel House told reporters that the “influx” of medical personnel, made up of nurses and several specialists, “was planned several weeks ago as increasing numbers of detainees chose to protest their detention.” The military still claims only 100 of the 166 inmates are participating in the strike, but lawyers for the detainees insist that number is closer to 130. Of the reported 100 hunger strikers, 21 are being force fed through nasal tubes, and House reports that 5 have been hospitalized.
As the hunger strike has grown, more and more critics have raised their voices in a call for the “immediate closure of the facility,” including military officials and members of congress. Air Force colonel Morris Davis, the former chief prosecutor at Guantanamo has spoken out publicly saying that, “unless President Obama acts soon, I believe it is likely one or more of the detainees will die.” Senator Dianne Feinstein has also written a letter to President Obama asking for renewed efforts by the administration to “transfer out the 86 detainees who were cleared for such a move by US military authorities.” She also called for a “reassessment of the “security situation on the ground in Yemen, because is my understanding that 56 of the 86 detainees cleared for transfer are Yemeni.”
So far the Obama administration has made no official statement as to the hunger strike in Guantanamo, and Baher Azmy, an attorney for several Guantanamo detainees believes the President has “turned a blind eye” to the prison.