Published on
Common Dreams

Guantanamo Guards Fire 'Non-Lethal' Rounds at Hunger Strikers

Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer

Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay (Reuters)

Guards at Guantanamo Bay fired four "non-lethal" rounds at prisoners on Saturday after attempting to force prisoners from communal cellblocks into isolated one-man cells—in an attempt to end an ongoing hunger strike in the secretive prison.

No "serious injuries" have been reported by military officials.

Officials said the prison guards decided to cordon off the prisoners/hunger strikers after the detainees covered windows and surveillance cameras to block the guards' surveillance of their communal cellblocks.

Military officials claim that some of the detainees resisted the sweep with "improvised weapons."

Lawyers representing the hunger striking prisoners say that most of the 166 prisoners being held in Guantanamo are participating in the hunger strike, which began around February 6.

Reportedly at least 11 are now being force fed, according to detention center spokesman Navy Capt. Robert Durand, a process whereby liquid nutrients are forced through tubes inserted into the detainees' noses and down to their stomachs. Many rights groups, including the United Nations Human Rights Commission, consider force-feeding a form of torture.

Lawyers for detainees denounced the prison guard's actions on Saturday, saying the prison commander should have sought to negotiate an end to the hunger strike, instead of taking violent action.

“This is exactly the opposite of what they should be doing,” said Carlos Warner, a federal public defender in Ohio. “Instead, the military is escalating the conflict.”

Of the 166 prisoners that remain in Guantanamo, at least 86 of them have been cleared for release but remain in the prison indefinitely.

"Saturday's early-morning sweep took place in Camp 6, a medium-security building where 80 to 100 detainees lived in cells that open into communal bays where they could eat, pray and watch television together," Reuters reports, wherein, in protest of their indefinite detention, torture, and poor conditions at the facility, the prisoners have been jointly refusing food.


This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Share This Article

More in: