Fasting Guantanamo detainees clash with guards news
15 April 2013

Fasting inmates at US military's Guantanamo Bay detention camp on Saturday clashed with guards after military authorities decided to end communal housing in one of the prison camps, and instead put prisoners in individual cells.

At least one detainee at the infamous detention camp at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, in Cuba, was reportedly injured by a rubber bullet in the clash.

Violence began after the detention camp's commander ordered the move on Saturday morning.

According to the US Southern Command, the decision was made after detainees covered windows and surveillance cameras, limiting guards' ability to monitor them at all times.

The forced transfer was also used as an opportunity to evaluate the health of the prisoners - dozens of them are on a hunger strike, according to the authorities.

Tensions at the prison had been running high for months and lawyers for prisoners pointed out that a hunger strike began on 6 February in protest over the detainees' indefinite confinement and what they believed were tighter restrictions and intrusive searches of their Qurans for contraband.

In a report based on another report by the Associated Press, Fox News quoted Carlos Warner, a federal public defender in Ohio as saying that instead of moving prisoners into single cells, the military should have done the opposite. The military was escalating the conflict, according to him.

According to the military, 43 prisoners were classified as hunger strikers under a definition that included those missing nine consecutive meals. Lawyers for prisoners insist the strike was much more widespread and said almost all of the men were refusing to eat.

The confrontation came after a team from the International Committee of the Red Cross completed a three-week visit to Guantanamo to meet with prisoners and assess conditions.

Spokesman Simon Schorno said, the ICRC continued to follow the current tensions and the hunger strike at Guantanamo very closely and with concern.

He said, if necessary, the ICRC team would be coming to Guantanamo to assess the situation of the detainees on hunger strike.

According to a spokesman for the military, effort to re-establish control at Camp 6 where detainees had covered cameras and windows to prevent observation by guards was prompted by fears that the risk to the health and the security of the detainees ''had reached an unacceptable level.''

Spokesman navy captain Robert Durand of the Joint Task Force at Guantanamo said detainees may continue hunger strike but medical staff would now be able to properly monitor their conditions.





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Fasting Guantanamo detainees clash with guards