Thursday, April 12, 2007

Guantanamo hunger strike expands

By MICHAEL MELIA, Associated Press Writer Mon Apr 9

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A long-running hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay gained several participants in recent weeks amid complaints over conditions at a new unit of the prison, but a spokesman at the U.S. military base said Monday that the protest appeared to be losing steam.

All were being force-fed through tubes inserted into their noses, said Navy Cmdr. Robert Durand, a Guantanamo spokesman. The strike, which began in 2005, has had as many as a dozen participants in recent months but reached 17 in the days before the trial in March of David Hicks, the Australian detainee whose case marked the first U.S. war crimes conviction since World War II. Hicks pleaded guilty to supporting terrorism and was sentenced to nine more months in prison.

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