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News Link • Criminal Justice System

Gitmo inmate who was deemed no threat describes cycle of hunger strikes and force feedings

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An inmate detained at Guantanamo for over a decade without charge on Monday gave a graphic account of his participation in a two-month-old hunger strike at the US-run military prison.

In an op-ed published in the New York Times entitled “Gitmo Is Killing Me,” Samir Naji al-Hasan Moqbel said he had lost over 30 pounds since going on hunger strike February 10 and that a fellow inmate weighed just 77 pounds.

“I will never forget the first time they passed the feeding tube up my nose. I can’t describe how painful it is to be force-fed this way. As it was thrust in, it made me feel like throwing up,” Moqbel, 35, wrote.

“Two times a day they tie me to a chair in my cell. My arms, legs and head are strapped down. I never know when they will come. Sometimes they come during the night, as late as 11 pm, when I’m sleeping.

“There are so many of us on hunger strike now that there aren’t enough qualified medical staff members to carry out the force-feedings… They are feeding people around the clock just to keep up.”

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