The US Military is torturing, by forcing tubes into, at least five of 100 Guantanamo Bay prisoners on a 5-week non-violent hunger strike and taken one to the prison hospital, according to a Navy spokesperson Friday, as U.S. media ignores this major human rights abuse news.
One strikers was taken to the prison hospital, Guantanamo detention center, spokesperson Navy Capt. Robert Durand said Friday, according to Russia Today that is reporting on this war crime, torture.
Five others are being fed through tubes put through their noses into their stomachs, while eight others are not yet sufficiently malnourished to merit such treatment, he said.
Force-feeding is the practice of feeding a person or an animal against their will.
The U.S. holds approximately 166 men at the prison.
A mass hunger strike involving many of the prisoners during summer of 2005 dwindled after the military began tying people down and force-feeding them through forcing tubes into them, a form of torture in itself.
In 2009, Andy Worthington wrote about Guantanamo hunger striker force feeding torture:
Hunger strikes have punctuated Guantánamo’s long and ignoble history, and, since January 2006, in response to a prison-wide hunger strike, the authorities have fastened long-term hunger strikers into restraint chairs twice a day, and have force-fed them through tubes inserted into the stomachs through the nose, even though, as Clive Stafford Smith, the lawyer for several dozen Guantánamo prisoners, has explained, 'Medical ethics tell us that you cannot force-feed a mentally competent hunger striker, as he has the right to complain about his mistreatment, even unto death.'
And yet, even as this process began, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights concluded, in a detailed report about Guantánamo in February 2006 (PDF), following an 18-month investigation, that “[t]he excessive violence used in many cases during transportation ... and forced-feeding of detainees on hunger strike must be assessed as amounting to torture,” and it is clear that nothing has changed in the three years since the report was published. Instead, five long-term hunger strikers have died at the prison, and official reports that they committed suicide have persistently been challenged. In the most recent case -- that of Muhammad Salih, a Yemeni who died just three weeks ago — former prisoner Binyam Mohamed explained in the Miami Herald on June 11 that his death defied logic, and wondered whether he had been 'killed by US personnel — intentionally or otherwise,' or whether he had died because of 'some type of organ failure,' as a result of “the years of hunger strikes (since 2005) in protest against unjustified incarceration.”
The military claimed Friday that 14 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay prison are on a hunger strike, five more than they previously admitted.
Lawyers say over 100 inmates are participating in the non-violent protest slated to last five weeks.
Despite the Gandhi-style protest, medical issues and possible death are probable, according to medical experts advocating for human rights, the media is "ignoring" this major human rights abuse story, as Russia Today reported Friday in a television news broadcast.
Durand denied that the hunger strike is “a widespread phenomenon, as alleged,” by the captives’ lawyers, and blamed them of spreading “outright falsehoods and gross exaggerations.”
Durand downplayed reports about the mass strike at Gitmo, saying most of the alleged strikers are skipping regular meals, but substituting them with snacks.
“Refusing prepared meals and choosing to subsist for a time on snack foods does not constitute a hunger strike,” Durand said.
Most of 130 prisoners held at Camp 6, where most of Gitmo’s 166 prisoners are incarcerated, are participating in the 5-week hunger strike, according to lawyers.
Fifty-one attorneys wrote Thursday to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel requesting that he intervene.
"The US facility at Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay is among the darkest legacies of the post-9/11 'War on Terror,'" reports Russia Today (RT). "Many detainees there are being held in legal limbo without trial. Half of the prisoners have been cleared for release, but still remain in custody.
Medical experts and attorneys warn that the health state of striking prisoners, most involved in the do-or-die strike, is deteriorating.
Press TV reports about the torture:
“By day 45, we understand from medical experts [that] there are serious health repercussions that start happening. [Some hunger strikers are suffering from] loss of hearing, [and] potential blindness,” Pardiss Kebriaei, the lawyer of Yemeni detainee Ghaleb Al-Bihanim said.
“The potential there is for death as well, if the hunger strike continues for [more] weeks,” Kebriaei added.
The scarcity of information about the hunger strike development is partially due to the secrecy maintained by the prison, according to RT.
"The communication barriers in place have been an obstacle for human rights organizations for years, Rob Freer of Amnesty International told RT."