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Guantanamo’s Hidden History: Shocking statistics of starvation

June 10, 2009

This report was released on the third anniversary of the deaths in Guantánamo of three prisoners, Ali al-Salami, Mani al-Utaybi and Yasser al-Zahrani.
The anniversary came just two weeks after the second anniversary of the death of Abdul Rahman al-Amri, the fourth prisoner to die in mysterious circumstances, and just eight days after the
death of a fifth prisoner, Muhammad Salih.
The authorities maintain that the men died by committing suicide, although doubts about this explanation have repeatedly been voiced by former prisoners.
However, it is also significant that all five men were long-term hunger strikers.
Cageprisoners marked this sad anniversary with a brief report about the Guantánamo hunger strikers, and the dreadful toll that prolonged starvation – and brutal force-feeding, which is the response of the US military – exacts on prisoners held, for the most part, without charge or trial in a seemingly endless legal limbo. Force-feeding involves prisoners being strapped into a restraint chair and force-fed twice daily against their will, through an agonizing process that involves having a tube inserted into the stomach through the nose.