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Guantánamo Bay hunger strike worsens

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Gitmo hunger strikeA long-running hunger strike by detainees at Guantánamo has worsened since Barack Obama promised action to close the controversial prison camp in a landmark speech last Thursday.

On the eve of Obama's address, there were 103 prisoners on hunger strike, with 31 being force-fed by military authorities and one in hospital. Since then, not a single prisoner has stopped their strike, and now 36 of the detainees are being force-fed to keep them alive, with five of them being hospitalised.

In telephones calls and letters to their legal representatives, detainees have also described a regime of intimidating body searches and other restrictions they say are designed to prevent them from talking to their lawyers and also to break their resolve.

However, it seems that the hunger strike is showing no signs of ending, despite several promises made by Obama to shutter the camp and release many of those who have been held there without charge for more than a decade. "The numbers of strikers are not moving downwards. Nothing has changed," said Carlos Warner, a lawyer for several detainees.

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