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130 Guantanamo inmates continue hunger strike, medics demand access

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A hunger strike by detainees at the US’s Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba continues as some 150 doctors and other medical professionals demand access to the hunger-striking inmates.

Some 130 of the total 166 Guantanamo prisoners are currently on hunger strike to express their objection to their prison conditions and indefinite detention without any charges or the right to a legal trial.

The strike at the infamous US prison originally began in early February and has drastically surged in recent weeks.

Reports say that the prison officials are force-feeding the inmates via tubes snaked up their nose and into their stomach. The treatment is considered as torture by international rights groups.

Meanwhile, the US government has published a list of 48 prisoners it wants to keep in Guantanamo for an indefinite period of time. The list includes 26 Yemenis, 12 Afghans, three Saudis and nationals from Libya, Kenya, Morocco and Somalia.

On Tuesday, some 150 doctors and other medical professionals wrote an open letter to US President Barack Obama, asking him to allow them to treat Guantanamo hunger strikers.

“It is clear that they do not trust their military doctors. Without trust, safe and acceptable medical care of mentally competent patients is impossible. Since the detainees do not trust their military doctors, they are unlikely to comply with current medical advice,” read the letter published in the Lancet medical journal.

Around 13 of the hunger strikers sent a letter to their military doctors last month and demanded independent medical attention.

“I do not wish to die, but I am prepared to run the risk that I may end up doing so, because I am protesting the fact that I have been locked up for more than a decade, without a trial, subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment and denied access to justice,” read the inmates’ letter.

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