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Hunger Strike at Guantanamo Waning

March 11, 2002

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GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) _ At least 15 detainees refused meals at this U.S. naval base refused meals Monday in a waning protest over their uncertain fate, military officials said. They said three of the men had not eaten since March 1.

The number of detainees refusing food has dropped from a high of 194 shortly after the protest began on Feb. 27. On Monday, 15 declined breakfast; numbers for lunch and dinner were not immediately available.

The military says it has administered intravenous fluids to 22 detainees at the camp infirmary to treat them for dehydration or undernourishment. Two were treated against their will.

The protest began after guards stripped an inmate of his turban, but military officials say participants have since told their captors their primary concern is uncertainty about what will happen to them.

The military says the 300 captives now held at the base in southeastern Cuba include fighters of the al-Qaida terrorist network and the fallen Afghan Taliban regime.

U.S. officials are determining whether and how to prosecute the men, and say those not tried by a military tribunal empowered to order the death penalty could be prosecuted in U.S. courts, returned to their home countries for prosecution, held indefinitely or released outright.


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