A detainee is carried by military police after being interrogated by officials at Camp X-Ray at the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (File photo)
Now more than 100 detainees at the United States’ infamous Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba are staging a hunger strike to protest disrespect of the Qur’an and confiscation of personal items.
Shaker Aamer, one of the best known inmates in Guantanamo, said the number of detainees on hunger strike at the Guantanamo has risen to 130, The Associated Press reported on Monday.
He told his lawyer on Friday that prison officials have been trying to break the strike without success.
Aamer, who has spent over a decade at the prison without charges, also said that he has lost 32 pounds (14.50 kilograms) during the strike that started on February 6.
Reports say many others have also lost dangerous amounts of weight, and are now being force-fed through the nose.
The International Committee of the Red Cross has increased its visits to Guantanamo, raising concerns about the health of the hunger strikers.
On Thursday, a group of lawyers stated in an emergency motion filed with a federal court in Washington that the Guantanamo guards had refused to provide drinking water to hunger strikers and kept camp temperature “extremely frigid” to break the strike.
The lawyers also said the lack of drinkable water had led to medical conditions affecting the kidneys, urinary system, and the stomach of the prisoners on strike.
Rights activists accuse jail authorities of seeking to downplay the extent of the situation inside the detention camp.
More than 160 inmates have been kept at Guantanamo without charge since early 2000s.