Hunger-Striking Guantanamo Bay Detainees Used Batons to Fight Guards

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This image reviewed by the US military shows members of the military walking the hallway of Cell Block C in the 'Camp Five' detention facility of the Joint Detention Group at the US Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, January 19, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

When guards at the Guantanamo Bay prison tried to move hunger-striking inmates living communally into individual cells on Saturday, the detainees did not go quietly. They fought back when guards moved in, using batons, broomsticks, and mop handles to resist the forced return to individual cells, so the guards fired rubber bullets that hit at least one inmate — the only injury being made public. The guards decided it was time to break up the inmates' communal living situation because they had been covering up security cameras and windows.

While one official "noted that there are always small numbers of detainees on hunger strike at the base," the larger protest got underway in February in response to intensified guard sweeps of prisoners' cells, including searching their Korans, the Washington Post reports.

But lawyers for both the inmates and the military, as well as the Red Cross, "agree that the hunger strike is also born of a deeper frustration that the Obama administration has abandoned any real effort to close the facility." A lawyer for the inmates told CNN that the detainees, some of whom have been in Guantanamo Bay for ten years, were frustrated with not just their conditions but the sense of an unending legal limbo. "It leaves them with the prospect of the only way we leave Guantanamo is death," attorney Carlos Warner said. "Unfortunately, I think the men are ready to embrace this."