British PM asked to intervene as Gitmo hunger strike continues

[JURIST] Human rights groups Amnesty International [advocacy website] and Reprieve [advocacy website] have sent a joint letter to British Prime Minister Tony Blair [official profile], asking him to pressure the US government to consider the demands of hunger strikers at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. Over 200 detainees are still on a hunger strike, which entered its 56th day Thursday, and military officials are force-feeding 21 of the strikers, according to Amnesty and a lawyer for some of the prisoners. Prisoners say they began the strike to protest [JURIST report] their extended imprisonment without charges, lack of due process, and inhumane conditions at the camp. Six of the detainees are British citizens, and the rights groups are calling on Blair to give assurances [BBC report] that the UK will assess condition of those on hunger strike. The US military said there were only 36 detainees on strike two weeks ago, but lawyers for the detainees said the number is actually closer to 210. Reuters has more.

 

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