More than half of the remaining detainees at Guantánamo Bay are now on a hunger strike, US military officials confirmed Sunday.
Of the 166 inmates at the controversial detention camp in Cuba, 84 are refusing all food as a protest against their indefinite confinement and conditions at the centre.
The figure is almost double the number previously released by officials, although inmates and their lawyers have long suggested that a majority of inmates were taking part.
Amongst those refusing food is Shaker Aamer, who has spent 11 years at Guantánamo. He remains behind bars despite being cleared for release six years ago.
He told the Observer – the Guardian’s sister paper – on Sunday that he had lost a quarter of his body weight since going on hunger strike more than 60 days ago.
“I barely notice all of my medical ailments any more – the back pain from the beatings I have taken, the rheumatism from the frigid air conditioning, the asthma exacerbated by the toxic sprays they use to abuse us. There is an endless list. And now 24/7, as the Americans say, I have the ache of hunger,” Aamer said.
He added: “I hope I do not die in this awful place. I want to hug my children and watch them as they grow. But if it is God’s will that I should die here, I want to die with dignity. I hope, if the worst comes to the worst, that my children will understand that I cared for the rights of those suffering around me almost as much as I care for them.”
Of the 84 prisoners on hunger strike, 16 are being force-fed. The military has said that none have life-threatening conditions, but a number of inmates and their lawyers have suggested that some men are close to death as a result of the action.
Last weekend, guards attempted to break hunger strikers’ resolve by forcibly removing them from communal areas and placing them in solitary cells. The move led to violent clashes, with guards firing “non-lethal” rounds on prisoners.
“The military responds with violence, as if that will break us; it draws us together,” Aamer told the Observer.
COVID-19 causes some patients’ immune systems to attack their own bodies — and can worsen the illness
Across the world, immunologists who retooled their labs to join the fight against SARS-CoV-2 are furiously trying to explain why some people get so sick while others recover unscathed. The pace is dizzying, but some clear trends have emerged.
One area of focus has been the production of antibodies – powerful proteins capable of disabling and killing invading pathogens like viruses. Of great concern has been the sporadic identification of so-called autoreactive antibodies that, instead of targeting disease causing microbes, target the tissues of individuals suffering from severe cases of COVID-19.
REVEALED: Kayleigh McEnany called Biden a ‘man of the people’ who connects better with the ‘middle class’ than Trump
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany is a loyal mouthpiece for President Donald Trump, both in presidential policy and against his political opponents in the election campaign. She has echoed Trump's attacks on Joe Biden, calling him a "radical socialist" and using monikers like "Sleepy."
But on Monday, CNN unearthed audio of McEnany from 2015 during an interview on New York AM970, in which she offered a very different view.
"I think the Republicans run into a problem if it is Joe Biden and if it is maybe a Trump on the other side," said McEnany. "Because Joe Biden, one of the things he is remarkable at is really kind of being a man of the people and resonating with middle class voters. Feeling like — coming off as human. His gaffes — as much as we make fun of them — to a certain extent they make him look human. So not, since he's likable."
Trump whines that he shouldn’t be blamed for ‘Lock Her Up!’ chants — as his supporters chant it
President Donald J. Trump refuted responsibility for his rally cries of "lock her up" during a campaign stop in Martinsburg, Penn. Monday.
"Lock her up," the crowds chanted. To which Trump replied, "Now [the chants] are happening with [Joe] Biden because that's a crime family, frankly. But every time that happens, when they say, 'lock her up,' they always blame me and I have nothing to do with it."
Watch the video below.
After the crowd chants "lock her up!" for Hillary Clinton, Trump says "now [the chants] are happening with Biden because that's a crime family, frankly. But every time that happens, when they say 'lock her up,' they always blame me & I have nothing to do with it." pic.twitter.com/SjKrfadJIv