- 07.03.13 05:39 PM EDT
The DOJ has decided to respect the rights of Muslim prisoners at Gitmo to observe Ramadan -- but it's going to keep force-feeding them. More than 100 of the 166 prisoners at the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba are on a hunger-strike -- protesting their treatment and the fact that they've been detained without charges. The strike has lasted for months, and the government is now force-feeding a number of the strikers to keep them alive.
On Wednesday, the Department of Justice officially denied a request by prisoners' lawyers to end the force-feeding before the holy month of Ramadan begins, arguing that the practice was cruel and served no military purpose. In its denial, the Department said it had "well-established legal authority" to do what it needs to do to keep prisoners alive.
During the month of Ramadan, observant Muslims fast during the daylight hours, only eating at night. This year Ramadan begins on Monday, July 8.