A hunger strike by prisoners at the US-run Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba has entered its 87th day, as Washington faces increasing international condemnation, Press TV reports.
The hunger strike at the infamous US prison originally began in early February and has surged in recent weeks. The detainees refusal to eat came as an effort to protest the searching of their personal belongings by prison guards as well as their indefinite detention without any charges or the right to trial.
US authorities claim that 100 of the total 166 Guantanamo inmates are currently on hunger strike, but lawyers of the foreign captives have reported that 130 detainees have joined the protest effort.
Nearly two dozen of the captives are being force-fed via tubes snaked up their nose and into their stomach.
The United Nations human rights office has condemned force-feeding of hunger strikers, saying it is equal to torture and violates the international law.
“If it is perceived as torture or inhuman treatment – and it is the case, it is painful – then it is prohibited by international law,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) spokesman, Rupert Coville, in a statement on Friday.
This is while, concerns over the prisoners’ worsening health are sharply rising, encouraging activists to petition the White House to keep its promise of shutting down the prison.
Activist group CODEPINK has started a campaign called “Fast 4 Gitmo.” CODEPINK members will fast for 24 hours on rotation. The group is also asking people from around the world to fast and send pictures in solidarity with Guantanamo Bay prisoners. The movement has already received hundreds of positive feedbacks from around the world.
Alli Mc Cracken, a spokesperson for CODEPINK also slammed force-feeding of hunger strikers at the US-run prison saying, “The actual process of force-feeding is essentially a form of torture…. The head of the American medical association came out recently and said that it is really an extremely painful process.”