Guantanamo prisoners stage hunger strike

Friday, September 2, 2005

A map of Cuba with Guantanamo Bay labeled

A number of prisoners at the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay have staged a hunger strike in protest of their detainment. The prisoners, many of whom have been held since the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001, are angered at the United States' refusal to charge them with any crimes, and denying the prisoners legal access.

A previous hunger strike was halted in July when Pentagon officials reached a compromise with the prisoners. The compromise included provisions to bring the prison in line with the terms of the Geneva Convention. The prisoners have since accused the government of not following through on this deal.

The exact number of prisoners is a question of debate. The Pentagon says that only 76 are striking, while lawyers for the prisoners say that as many as 200 prisoners are refusing to eat. The lawyers also have said that one prisoner has drawn up a will in apparent anticipation of dying.