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Guantanamo 'mass disturbances' up sharply in 2007: US military report

[JURIST] A new one-page US military report obtained by the Associated Press shows that despite a decline in the number of prisoners held at the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], "mass disturbances" by inmates have risen substantially thusfar in 2007, increasing over 90% from 201 in 2006 to 385 in the first six months of this year. Other violent incidents such as "forced cell extractions" and "assault with bodily fluids" setting prisoners against guards meanwhile remain relatively constant or show signs of increasing. The report did not say what exactly constitutes a "mass disturbance", although a military spokesman said the category did not include hunger strikes [JURIST news archive].

About 100 prisoners have been released from Guantanamo in the past year; after three inmates committed suicide [JURIST report] in June 2006 security for the remainder was increased, and most inmates are now held in solitary confinement [JURIST report] for all but two hours a day. The US military says the prisoners are dangerous and still pose a threat to guards, while rights groups and lawyers for many of the prisoners continue to insist that their detention conditions are too harsh and their lack of legal recourse to the US courts makes them increasingly hopeless and desperate. AP has more.

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