Mounting tensions escalate into violence during raid at Guantánamo

The New York Times reports: Weeks of mounting tensions between the military and detainees at the wartime prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, escalated into violence on Saturday during a raid in which guards forced prisoners living in communal housing to move to individual cells.

“Some detainees resisted with improvised weapons, and in response, four less-than-lethal rounds were fired,” the military said in a statement. “There were no serious injuries to guards or detainees.”

Capt. Robert Durand, a military spokesman at the base, said the improvised weapons included “batons and broomsticks.” Another military official said that at least one detainee had been hit by a rubber bullet, but that there were no further details about any minor injuries or how the prisoners had resisted.

The raid came shortly after a delegation from the International Committee of the Red Cross completed a three-week visit to examine the prisoners and study the circumstances of a hunger strike that has been roiling the camp for weeks. The Red Cross visit concluded on Friday, and most of the delegation left that same day, though a few flew out Saturday morning, said Simon Schorno, a Red Cross spokesman.

Mr. Schorno declined to comment on the raid, saying that no one from the Red Cross delegation had witnessed it. But he did say that the Red Cross believed the hunger strike was the result of how legal uncertainty has affected their mental and emotional health. Most of the detainees have been held without trial for more than a decade, and the outward flow of detainees has essentially ceased amid Congressional restrictions on further transfers. [Continue reading…]

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One thought on “Mounting tensions escalate into violence during raid at Guantánamo

  1. BillVZ

    When the press inquired about a presidential response to the meeting with the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross expressing their horror of the force feeding those on hunger strike the response by Obamas voice was:

    “you all know our commitment to close, in the interest of national security, the facility.”
    When asked is the Present even aware of the hunger strike?
    “umm.. I have not had a specific conversation with him about this. But he is aware on a number of issues”

    …right- that pretty much sums up both the press secretary’s and the president’s concern regarding such a trifling issue.

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