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Pair joins hunger strike at Gitmo

| Thursday, May 16, 2013, 9:21 p.m.

U.S. military medical providers counted 102 Guantanamo prisoners as hunger strikers on Thursday, the first increase after three weeks when the number seemed to plateau at 100.

Navy medical workers were tube-feeding 30 of the hunger strikers, said Army Lt. Col. Samuel House. Three were hospitalized, but none had “life-threatening conditions,” he said.

Military officials would not say whether the protest had spread to Camp 7, the building where the alleged mastermind of 9/11 and 14 other so-called high-value detainees who were once held in secret CIA facilities have been locked up since 2006. On May 8, defense lawyers for some of the alleged 9/11 conspirators filed a motion asking the war court judge to forbid the prison staff from force-feeding their clients.

The motion was under seal, but Navy Cmdr. Walter Ruiz said by telephone from Dubai that he had invoked the American Medical Association opposition to force-feeding in the motion he filed on behalf of his client, Saudi Mustafa al Hawsawi, one of the five detainees charged in connection with the 9/11 attacks. The AMA and the International Red Cross oppose force-feeding prisoners who are mentally competent to make their own decisions.

Ruiz said Hawsawi, who is accused of funneling money to the 9/11 hijackers, “has been hunger striking on and off, refusing food” for months.

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