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Guantanamo Bay sends in 40 medical reinforcements as two thirds of prisoners join hunger strike

Medical reinforcements have arrived at Guantanamo Bay to deal with a growing hunger strike by prisoners at the US detention centre in Cuba.

Roughly 40 US Navy nurses and other specialists arrived over the weekend to deal with the growing number of strikers, which stands at 100 out of the 166 total inmates, according to Lieutenant Colonel Samuel House.

Twenty one prisoners are being force-fed through a tube to prevent dangerous weight loss and five are being observed in the base hospital.

The strike began in February as a protest against the inmates' indefinite detention, most without charge.

Though such strikes are common at the facility, this is one of the longest and most widespread. US officials deny claims that the protests began when officers mishandled copies of the Koran during cell searches.

Violence erupted earlier this month when prisoners were moved out of communal cell blocks where they had covered surveillance cameras and windows.

Nearly 100 of the centre's detainees have reportedly been cleared for release but remain because of restrictions imposed by Congress and possible concerns over their treatment should they be returned home.

[Source: By Steve Anderson, The Independent, London, 30Apr13]

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small logoThis document has been published on 30Apr13 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.