WASHINGTON, April 14, 2013 – The commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo ordered the transition of detainees from communal to single-cell living at Camp VI at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to ensure the health and security of those detainees, according to a task force news release issued yesterday.
The commander, Navy Rear Adm. John W. Smith Jr., ordered the change early yesterday morning. This action was taken in response to efforts by detainees to limit the guard force's ability to observe the detainees by covering surveillance cameras, windows, and glass partitions, according to the release, which noted that round-the-clock monitoring is necessary to ensure security, order, and safety.
In order to reestablish proper observation, the guards entered the Camp VI communal living spaces to transition detainees into single cells, remove obstructions to cameras, windows and partitions, and medical personnel conducted individual assessments of each detainee, the release said.
The ongoing detainee hunger strike necessitated these medical assessments, the release said. Some detainees resisted with improvised weapons, and in response, four less-than-lethal rounds were fired. There were no serious injuries to guards or detainees.
The mission of Joint Task Force Guantanamo is to provide for the safe, legal, and humane care and custody of detainees. All detainees will continue to be treated in a safe, humane manner, according to the release.