As Hunger Strike Grows, Red Cross Heads to Gitmo
31 detainees now refusing food: military
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 28, 2013 4:04 AM CDT
In this May 13, 2008 file photo reviewed by the US Military, a soldier looks through binoculars while standing on a guard tower at Camp 4 in the Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base in Cuba.   (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd, file)

(Newser) – The latest Guantanamo Bay hunger strike has expanded to at least 31 of 166 people, according to the military, and the International Committee of the Red Cross is hurrying its efforts to address the situation. The plan had been to send representatives next week, the BBC notes; instead, a doctor and another Red Cross official are going early. The shift marks "an effort to better understand current tensions and the ongoing hunger strike," the organization says, citing a "clear link" to detainees' uncertain futures.

Some 11 detainees are currently being fed through tubes, a military rep says, while three have been hospitalized. Lawyers say the strike has spread to a majority of inmates. Some lawyers have filed a motion in Washington saying striking detainees are being denied bottled water, notes al-Jazeera. Guards won't give the inmates bottled water, instead telling them to drink tap water they don't think is safe, a detainee says. The issue has "already caused some prisoners kidney, urinary, and stomach problems," the lawyers say. They add that the striking inmates are being subjected to "extremely frigid temperatures" in order to halt the strike.