[Ppnews] Lives of Guantanamo Hunger Strikers Still in Danger

Political Prisoner News PPnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Oct 5 08:47:10 EDT 2005

Prensa Latina, Havana

Lives of Guantanamo Hunger Strikers Still in Danger

Washington, Oct 3 (PL)--The lives of hunger-striking prisoners
continue in danger for the third consecutive week at the US prison at
Guantanamo Naval Base, according to inmates at the facility.

The strike, involving more than 200 inmates protesting their
judicial limbo and their treatment by US soldiers, entered its ninth
week on Monday.

Consistent with reports released by Newsday magazine, the
"thinned-down prisoners are coughing up blood or falling unconscious on
the floor," as the facility's military hospital " is inundated with
hunger strikers, who are being force-fed through nasal catheters."

"We are in the throes of slow death here," prisoner of British origin
Omar Deghayes denounced as he recalled that most of these people, who
were detained in the wake of the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001,
have yet to be charged with any crime.

"I don't understand what the US is doing," Deghayes wrote in one of
the reports about the strike, which he secretly handed over to his
London-based lawyer.

In his hand-written testimonies, the prisoner recalls that "this is
the fourth year in prison although no charges have been filed, and we
lack medicine, products or conditions to wash, and are without sun."
  Deghayes described how he was punched in the eye by a soldier, and said
that many prisoners "are falling down and showing symptoms of diseases."

If authorities here fail to do something quickly to improve
conditions, "the number of prisoners on hunger strike will get out of
hand," he predicted.

The Pentagon claims there were 131 inmates involved in the protest by
mid-September, with only 20 having to be force-fed, but it has not
permitted families, independent doctors or lawyers to visit or telephone
the detainees, arguing it is a national security issue.

The Doctors for Human Rights organization insists on making an
independent diagnosis of the effects of the hunger strike, because the
US Medical Association bans feeding striking inmates by force.

More than 500 people, tagged as enemy combatants -a term used by
Washington to hold them without legal assistance-, are under US custody
at the Guantanamo facility, a territory illegally occupied by the US
against the will of the Island's authorities and people.

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