MIAMI — Prisoners taking part in an expanding hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay leveled new complaints about their military jailers Wednesday as a team from the International Committee of the Red Cross made a fact-finding trip to the U.S. base in Cuba.
In an emergency motion filed with a federal court in Washington, lawyers say guards have refused to provide drinking water to hunger strikers and kept camp temperature “extremely frigid,” to thwart the protest. A spokesman for the detention center denied the allegations.
“The reality is that these men are slowly withering away and we as a country need to take immediate action,” said Mari Newman, a human rights lawyer based in Denver, who was among those who submitted the motion.
They filed the petition after interviewing Yemeni prisoner Musaab al-Madhwani by phone Monday. He told them that guards were refusing to provide bottled water and telling prisoners to drink from tap water that inmates believe is non-potable. The lawyers say in their motion that the lack of drinkable water has “already caused some prisoners kidney, urinary and stomach problems,” in addition to the health effects of the hunger strike.
The U.S. government has not filed a response to the motion. Navy Capt. Robert Durand, a spokesman for the prison, said prisoners are provided with bottled water and that the tap water is safe to drink.
Read more in Thursday’s Arizona Daily Star and at azstarnet.com