Prisoners in Guantanamo Bay on hunger strike have alleged US troops punished them by repeatedly inserting and removing dirty feeding tubes until the detainees vomited blood.
Declassified notes released by defense lawyers for three men being held at the prison camp on Cuba said the prisoners came to view the large feeding tubes -- described as the thickness of a finger -- as objects of torture.
"They were forcibly shoved up the detainees' noses and down into their stomachs," the lawyers reported to a federal judge in August. "No anesthesia or sedative was provided."
According to their affidavits force feedings resulted in prisoners "vomiting up substantial amounts of blood. When they vomited up blood, the soldiers mocked and cursed at them, and taunted them with statements like `look what your religion has brought you.'"
Yousef al Shehri, 21, of Saudi Arabia, said guards removed a nasal feeding tube from one prisoner and reinserted it into another without cleaning it first. Another said a Navy doctor put a tube in his nose, down his throat and "kept moving the tube up and down" until he finally "started violently throwing up blood."
A military spokesman for the Guantanamo detention center, said there was no truth to the allegations. The prison camp has around 500 inmates; 25 detainees are on hunger strike, including 22 being force-fed, according to the spokesman.
Defense lawyers who have visited the prison recently say their clients have insisted they will maintain the protest until conditions at the prison camp improve or they are released.
In a statement filed in federal court in Washington, John Edmondson said that only doctors or nurses are allowed to remove or insert feeding tubes and that they use a lubricant and offer an anesthetic to the hunger striking prisoner to ease any pain.
The handling of the hunger striking prisoners "equals or exceeds the standard of care available at accredited hospitals in the United States," Edmondson, a Navy captain, said in the affidavit. His statement was a response to a lawsuit by defense attorneys who are seeking more frequent access to their clients and copies of their medical records.
Prisoners also said the taunting treatment was intended to persuade them to end the hunger strike that began Aug. 9.
A military spokesman denied allegations of abuse but did not know specifics about the use of feeding tubes and treatment of striking detainees at the hospital.
Edmondson said guards do not verbally or physically harass the detainees in the prison hospital.
"Their presence in the detention hospital is solely to ensure the safety and security of both detainees and medical staff," he said.
Guantanamo officials said this latest hunger strike began with 76 detainees protesting their confinement. Defense lawyers cited other reasons as well, including complaints about food and water, alleged abuse by guards and interrogators and their desire to either face trial or be released.
An uncrewed Chinese spacecraft has acquired imagery data covering all of Mars, including visuals of its south pole, after circling the planet more than 1,300 times since early last year, state media reported yesterday. The Tianwen-1 successfully reached the Red Planet in February last year on the country’s inaugural mission there. A robotic rover has since been deployed on the surface as an orbiter surveyed the planet from space. Among the images taken from space were China’s first photographs of the Martian south pole, where almost all of the planet’s water resources are locked. In 2018, an orbiting probe operated by the European
QUARANTINE SHORTENED: A new protocol detailing risk levels and local policy responses would be ‘more scientific and accurate,’ a health agency spokesman said China’s revised COVID-19 guidelines, which cut a quarantine requirement in half for inbound travelers, also create a standardized policy for mass testing and lockdowns when cases of the disease flare, showing that the country still has a zero-tolerance approach to the virus. Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) solidified the position during a trip to Wuhan, where the pathogen first emerged in 2019, saying that China is capable of achieving a “final victory” over the virus. The “zero COVID-19” policy is the most effective and economic approach for the country, Xi said during the trip on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported. The first
‘TOO RISKY’: Palau’s president said deep-sea mining, in which rocks are sucked off the ocean floor, increases the vulnerability of the seabed floor and marine life Concerned about the potential effects of deep-sea mining on ocean biodiversity, the Pacific islands of Palau and Fiji on Monday launched an “alliance” to call for a moratorium of the nascent industry. The backing of a moratorium comes amid a wave of global interest in deep-sea mining, but also growing pressure from some environmental groups and governments to either ban it or ensure it only goes ahead if appropriate regulations are in place. Deep-sea mining uses heavy machinery to suck up off the ocean floor potato-sized rocks or nodules that contain cobalt, manganese and other metals mostly used in batteries. Speaking to a
A flight test of a hypersonic missile system in Hawaii on Wednesday ended in failure due to a problem that occurred after ignition, the US Department of Defense said, delivering a fresh blow to a program that has experienced stumbles. It did not provide details of what took place in the test, but said in an e-mailed statement that “the department remains confident that it is on track to field offensive and defensive hypersonic capabilities on target dates beginning in the early 2020s.” “An anomaly occurred following ignition of the test asset,” Pentagon spokesman US Navy Lieutenant Commander Tim Gorman said in