Violence Grows in Guantanamo Bay as Inmates Continue Hunger Strike
In Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, prisoners were confronted with rubber bullets on Saturday in a clash against guards. The inmates were attacking guards in protest of an end to communal housing, several sources reported Monday.
Prisoners have been on hunger strike against pillaging of personal items by guards since February, and the Pentagon recently named 11 inmates being force fed, in order to combat the ongoing strike. The striking inmates are also said to be starving themselves in order to draw attention to their indefinite confinement, lawyers said.
Amnesty International has reported that approximately 60 inmates, many of whom have been hunger striking, have been cleared for release. However, despite President Obama’s pledge to close the prison in 2009, the United States has not taken action to effectively close the prison and to return the inmates to their countries of origin.
This group of inmates at Guantanamo Bay were housed in the minimum security area, called Camp 6, where 80 to 100 inmates live together and participate in group activities like eating and praying.
The decision was made to change housing after inmates began to cover windows and security cameras in an attempt to limit the 24-hour surveillance placed on detainees. The move resulted in resistance from inmates using weapons like batons, broomsticks, and plastic water bottles, followed by a response from guards.
The official statement reported NPR says “Some detainees resisted with improvised weapons, and in response, four less-than-lethal rounds were fired. There were no serious injuries to guards or detainees.”
UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillay expressed discouragement about the United States’ inability to close the prison. “I am deeply disappointed that the US Government has not been able to close Guantánamo Bay, despite repeatedly committing itself to do so,” Pillay said in April.
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