On March 19, 2013, Al Jazeera has reported, Hunger strikes at Guantanamo nearly double. Officials at the military prison have said the number of detainees on hunger strike at Guantanamo has nearly doubled since last week, with at least two prisoners being hospitalized due to dehydration.
Captain Robert Durand, who is the Guantanamo communications director, has confirmed on Tuesday that 24 prisoners were on hunger strike, which is up from 15 since March 11. Durand said, "Today, Tuesday, March 19, 2013, we have 24 hunger strikers, with eight on internal feed. The reports of hunger-strike-related deteriorating health and detainees losing massive amounts of weight are simply untrue." However, in recent weeks, lawyers returned from the US base in Cuba where the prison is located and have shared accounts of clients weak from hunger and an angry standoff with guards.
The Global Post has also reported on this story, Number of Guantanamo hunger strikers rises to 24: prison. But, even though Guantanamo Communications director captain Robert Durand has confirmed 24 prisoners were now on hunger strike, he has nevertheless rejected claims that the majority of detainees were involved in the protest.
Meanwhile, Omah Farah, from the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), said several prisoners had lost 40-50 pounds and most had lost between 20-30 pounds. Farah has accused camp authorities of seeking to downplay the extent of the strike, which first began on February 6 as a protest to searches carried out by prison guards. The detainees have accused guards of desecrating Korans during the searches. The prison camp officials have strongly denied any mistreatment of the religious books.