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Now, more than half of GITMO detainees are on hunger strike

Amongst those refusing food is Shaker Aamer, who has spent 11 years at Guantánamo. He remains behind bars despite being cleared for release six years ago.

He told the Observer – the Guardian's sister paper – on Sunday that he had lost a quarter of his body weight since going on hunger strike more than 60 days ago.

"I barely notice all of my medical ailments any more – the back pain from the beatings I have taken, the rheumatism from the frigid air conditioning, the asthma exacerbated by the toxic sprays they use to abuse us. There is an endless list. And now 24/7, as the Americans say, I have the ache of hunger," Aamer said.

He added: "I hope I do not die in this awful place. I want to hug my children and watch them as they grow. But if it is God's will that I should die here, I want to die with dignity. I hope, if the worst comes to the worst, that my children will understand that I cared for the rights of those suffering around me almost as much as I care for them."