Captain Robert Durand, the Director of Public Affairs of Guantanamo Bay, has confirmed that 24 captives of the notorious prison have been involved in a hunger strike for the past six weeks.
The prisoners are protesting the American government’s failure to close the prison, despite Barack Obama’s numerous campaign promises in the 2008 election, said Marine Corps General John Kelly to the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee in Washington.
Durand said detainees who choose to engage in a hunger strike are closely monitored for health, food and water intake and are advised of the potential adverse health effects of hunger striking.”
“We do not discuss the medical status of individual detainees.”
Despite Durand’s assertion that the strike is small in scale, Pardiss Kebriaei, the attorney of Ghaleb al-Bihani and prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, told The Guardian that “There is a large-scale hunger strike in Camp 6, which is the largest of the facilities at Guantánamo. That prison holds about 130 men. He said that almost everyone, except for a few who are sick and elderly, is on strike.”
Barack Obama promised numerous times on the 2008 campaign trail to close Guantanamo Bay.
Kelly assured the committee that allegations that the Koran had been mishandled by American troops at the prison had no basis in fact.
“The claims of a mass hunger strike and an incident in which the Quran was mishandled are simply untrue ,” Durand said in a statement released yesterday.