Former Guantanamo prisoners launch hunger strike in Slovakia
Three former prisoners of US prison camp Guantanamo Bay have launched a hunger strike to protest against the conditions at a refugee centre in which they are now being held in Slovakia, a human rights group confirmed Friday.
One of the three, an Egyptian Muslim, had spoken to Amnesty International about the strike, a spokeswoman said, DPA reported.
Despite having been transferred to Slovakia in January, the legal status of the three men was still not clear, she said. The men also felt isolated and badly looked after, she said.
But the leader of the Slovakian immigration authorities, Bernard Priecel, refuted the accusations. He told journalists the men had freedom of movement and mobile phones as well as contact with the local population.
A psychologist was also available to them for eight hours a day, he said.
But he did admit that the lack of clarity on their legal status could be a burden for them. At the moment they were simply foreigners, without asylum seeker status.
Interior Minister Robert Kalinak had said on their arrival that they were "not criminals" and promised that their residence permit status would be cleared up quickly.