Gitmo Hunger Strikers Have Eaten: Officials

But that doesn't mean the strike is over: Lawyers

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 13, 2013 4:31 PM CDT

(Newser) – The Guantanamo hunger strike may be coming to an end, with 99 of the 102 hunger strikers reportedly eating on Friday, according to military officials, the Washington Post reports. But were they really ending their strike or just pausing for Ramadan? Gitmo spokesman Captain Robert Durand says most of the 166 foreign inmates in the prison ate lamb on Friday to break their daytime fast for the Muslim holy month, the Guardian reports. But a lawyer for one striker says that doesn't mean anything. "Eating an occasional meal doesn’t mean that you are not on a hunger strike," he says, per the Post.

Another lawyer who represents five strikers agrees. "All I hear from my clients is that they are going to keep going and they are not going to stop," he says, per the Guardian. Durand acknowledges it's possible. "I don't pretend to understand the psychology of the detainees and they don't always necessarily declare their motives," he says. Either way, the strike is not officially over—the military requires several days of eating and a minimum amount of calories before that will happen, the Post reports, and 45 are still being force-fed. Lawyers went to court this week in an attempt to end force-feeding at the prison all together, but the judge said she didn't have the authority to do so, the LA Times reports. One concession: No force-feeding is taking place during daylight hours for Ramadan.

US military guards walk within the Camp Delta military-run prison at the Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base, Cuba.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)
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