[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 9 September 2005, 10:39 GMT 11:39 UK
Guantanamo strike in second month
Prisoner in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
Many inmates have been held without charge or access to lawyers
A hunger strike by detainees at the US Guantanamo Bay prison camp has entered a second month, says the US military.

A prison spokesman said 87 inmates were still taking part in the strike that began on 8 August. Lawyers for the prisoners put the figure at 210.

Ten prisoners were being fed through nose tubes and were in a "stable" condition, the spokesman added.

A lawyer said the inmates were prepared to strike until they got a fair hearing and humane treatment or died.

This is the latest in a series of hunger strikes since 2002 by detainees held as part of America's declared war on terror.

They are striking because of their indefinite detention... and the inhumane treatment they're experiencing on the base
Lawyer Gitanjali Gutierrez

The last occurred between June and July this year, and the prisoners' lawyers say it was so severe that 50 men had to be intravenously fed.

Prison spokesman Sergeant Justin Behrens said the number of prisoners taking part in the latest hunger strike had dropped since it began in August.

"Ninety-two was the max on hunger strike but it has now dropped down to 87," he told the AFP news agency. "Ten of them are being fed through medical assist."

International concern

Military officials did not reveal how many inmates had refused food for a whole month.

But Gitanjali Gutierrez, of the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, said the strike had become "much more severe".

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
Guantanamo Bay is kept closed to much public examination

The detainees began striking in 2002 because of their "uncertain future", he told the BBC.

"Now they are striking because of their indefinite detention without any fair process, and because of the inhumane treatment they're experiencing on the base," he added.

The brother of a British inmate reportedly on hunger strike called on the UK government to intervene.

Abubaker Deghayes said his 36-year-old brother Omar had not eaten for nearly five weeks.

"I'm really worried. Something really needs to be done. We can't just allow people to be oppressed and tortured," he said.

The US prison at Cuba's Guantanamo Bay is tightly controlled and closed to public scrutiny and has long been the centre of international concern and controversy, says the BBC's Jane O'Brien in Washington.

As most inmates are held as enemy combatants they are not protected by the Geneva Convention and can be held indefinitely, says the US government.

Major Jeff Weir reports on the condition of inmates

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific