Escalation in guantanamo – rubber bullets against prisoners
There have been minor injuries on both sides, CNN quoted a military spokesman at guantanamo bay as saying. 166 suspected terrorists are still being held there, many of them since 2002, when the camp was established.
U.S. President barack obama announced a closure of the camp within a year after taking office in 2009, but failed due to massive congressional opposition to transferring the prisoners to U.S. Soil. Spokesman jay carney briefly stressed that obama still wants to shut down the camp. At present, however, there are no signs of any efforts in this direction.
In february, a wave of hunger strikes began at the camp. Prisoners say that US personnel searched their cells, including "inappropriate" copies of the koran. According to american figures, 43 detainees are currently refusing food and some are being force fed. Prisoner advocates say hunger strikers far outnumber detainees. The mannerisms, most of which were held without any charges, let alone a trial, became more and more desperate.
In a statement, the U.S. Southern command responsible for guantanamo said the transfer from so-called camp VI to individual cells had become necessary to ensure the safety and health of detainees. Detainees had covered surveillance cameras, windows and glass partitions of the community shelter. This made round-the-clock monitoring, necessary for "order and security," impossible.
Prisoners had resisted the transfer with improvised weapons, the sud command added. In response, guards had fired four shots. According to a spokesman for the prison administration, the prisoners use broom and mop handles and filled water bottles as clubs. The prisoners could continue their hunger strike in the single cells. But at least it is ensured that medical personnel can check their condition.
At the same time, according to the "washington post", the spokesman, robert durand, admitted that the prisoners had also been transferred to prevent an expansion of the hunger strike.
Camp VI housed the bulk of the detainees. They could spend the day together and, for example, watch television together. They spent the night in open cells.