U.S. Navy medical staff were on Sunday force feeding 35 captives at the prison camps at Guantánamo, a military spokesman said, noting that six of at least 103 hunger strikers were hospitalized.
“The detainees in the hospital do not currently have any life-threatening conditions,” said Army Lt. Col. Samuel House in an email from the U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba.
The actual hunger strike numbers could be larger than the reported 103. Prison spokesmen say they are not allowed to include any of the 15 former CIA captives in their account of the hunger strikers, even if any are shackled into a restraint chair for twice daily tube feedings.
Former CIA prisoners are secluded in a clandestine prison building called Camp 7 that houses “high-value detainees” who got to Guantánamo in 2006. They include the five alleged architects of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, and three men whom U.S. agents water-boarded.
Guantánamo captives getting tube feedings include at least five captives whom a federal task force approved for release years ago. The prison won’t identify those on hunger strike but the Justice Department has notified attorneys for at least 16 of the men that their clients are being force fed.
At the height of Guantánamo’s most widespread and longest sustained previous hunger strike, in 2005, military medical staff force fed an average 30 detainees a day, House said.