<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">
<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1">
<body bgcolor="#ffffff" text="#000000">
<h1 itemprop="name headline "><small>US steps up efforts to break
Guantánamo hunger strike</small></h1>
<p itemprop="description" id="stand-first" class="stand-first-alone"
data-component="Article:standfirst_cta">Shaker Aamer, last British
resident held in camp, tells of harsh regime to break strikers'
<ul class="article-attributes trackable-component b4"
<div class="contributor-full"> <span itemscope="" itemprop="author"
class="contributor" rel="author" itemprop="url"
home affairs editor </div>
<li class="publication"> <a itemprop="publisher"
href="http://observer.guardian.co.uk">The Observer</a>, <time
itemprop="datePublished" datetime="2013-06-22T07:29EDT" pubdate="">Saturday
22 June 2013 07.29 EDT</time> </li>
<div id="main-content-picture" itemscope="" itemprop="image"
itemtype="http://schema.org/ImageObject"> <small><small><a class="moz-txt-link-freetext" href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/22/us-efforts-guantanamo-hunger-strike">http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/22/us-efforts-guantanamo-hunger-strike</a></small></small><br>
<p>Increasingly brutal tactics are being used in an attempt to break
the hunger strike by detainees at <a
title="More from guardian.co.uk on Guantánamo Bay">Guantánamo Bay</a>,
according to fresh testimony from the last British resident still held
in the camp.</p>
title="">Shaker Aamer</a> claims that the US authorities are
systematically making the regime more hardline to try to defuse the
strike, which now involves almost two-thirds of the detainees.
Techniques include making cells "freezing cold" to accentuate the
discomfort of those on hunger strike and the introduction of
title="">feeding tubes</a>, which Aamer said were forced into inmates'
stomachs twice a day and caused detainees to vomit over themselves.</p>
<p>The 46-year-old from London tells of one detainee who was admitted
to hospital 10 days ago after a nurse had pushed the tube into his
lungs rather than his stomach, causing him later to cough up blood.
Aamer also alleges that some nurses at <a
Bay </a>are refusing to wear their name tags in order to prevent
detainees registering abuse complaints against staff.</p>
<p>Speaking last week from the camp in <a
title="More from guardian.co.uk on Cuba">Cuba</a>, exactly four months
after he joined the hunger strike, Aamer said: "The administration is
getting ever more angry and doing everything they can to break our
hunger strike. Honestly, I wish I was dead."</p>
<p>The momentum behind efforts to release Aamer – who has spent more
than 11 years without trial inside the camp – mounted sharply last week
title="">David Cameron raising the issue directly with the US
president, Barack Obama, </a>during the G8 summit in Northern Ireland.</p>
<p>On Wednesday, in a response to a parliamentary question about what
had been discussed by the two leaders, Cameron revealed that his next
step would be to write to Obama about the "specifics of the case and
everything that we can do to expedite it". He added: "Clearly,
President Obama wants to make progress on this issue and we should help
him in every way that we can with respect to this individual."</p>
<p>The prime minister's comments are the most positive indication to
date that Aamer will eventually be freed – he has been cleared for
release twice since 2007.</p>
title="">Clive Stafford Smith</a>, the director of the legal charity
Reprieve, who passed a transcript of his conversation with Aamer to the
<em>Observer</em>, said: "These gruesome new details show just how bad
things are in Guantánamo. The whole thing is at breaking point. Clearly
the US military is under enormous pressure and doing everything it can
to hurt the men and break the hunger strike."</p>
<p>Although the military initially denied that there was a <a
title="">hunger strike inside Guantanámo,</a> it now concedes that, of
the 166 detainees, 104 are on hunger strike and 44 are being force-fed.</p>
<p>Aamer also documents his declining health and how the camp's regime
deliberately inflates the weight of detainees on hunger strike. Aamer,
who has permission to live in the UK indefinitely because his wife is a
British national, said: "They said I was 160lb, but I was 154lb a few
days ago. Unless there has been a miracle, my weight has not gone up
without eating. But they cheat by adding shackles and sometimes even
pressing down as they do it to add to your weight.</p>
<p>"If you have a medical standard for when a detainee should be
force-fed for his own health, then force-feed him when it can still
save his health. Don't wait until his body is so harmed by the lack of
food that all you are protecting is the US military – from the harm of
a prisoner dying for a principle."</p>
<p>Aamer describes his daily diet at Guantánamo as a cup of tea or two
each day with a low-calorie sweetener and occasionally an Ocean Spray
powder mix that has 10 calories – enough to give an energy boost.</p>
<div class="moz-signature">-- <br>
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
<a class="moz-txt-link-abbreviated" href="http://www.freedomarchives.org">www.freedomarchives.org</a>