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US Army general confirms force-feeding Guantanamo detainees on hunger strike

[JURIST] US Army Gen. Bantz J. Craddock [official profile], military commander for US Southern Command [official website], which oversees the detention center at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], has confirmed that military officials have begun employing more aggressive tactics to deter detainees from carrying out long-term hunger strikes [JURIST report] to protest their detention. Reports emerged in early February of the US military employing such aggressive tactics, which reportedly dropped the number of hunger-striking detainees to four [JURIST report].

Craddock on Tuesday confirmed that officers restrained some of the detainees in order to force feed them. A Southern Command spokesperson also told reporters that military officers had used restraints on 35 of the detainees, and that they were still using the equipment on three. Officers also isolated the hunger striking detainees from one another after discovering that some of them were deliberately vomiting or siphoning out the fluid they had been fed. Craddock told the press that he had reviewed the restraint chairs used during the force-feedings, and found that the practice was not inhumane. Eric Schmitt and Tim Golden of the New York Times have more.

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