Tag Archives: prisoners

2010 Prison Population Totals

List of countries with more than 100,000 prisoners as a percentage of their population (from Prison Studies)

Rank Country Prisoners & of Population
1 United States of America 2,239,751 0.72%
2 Russian Federation 681,600 0.48%
3 Thailand 279,854 0.44%
4 South Africa 156,370 0.31%
5 Ukraine 137,965 0.30%
6 Iran 217,000 0.29%
7 Brazil 548,003 0.28%
8 Colombia 118,201 0.26%
9 Mexico 246,226 0.22%
10 Turkey 137,133 0.19%
11 Vietnam 130,180 0.15%
12 Ethiopia 112,361 0.13%
13 China 1,640,000 0.12%
14 Philippines 108,305 0.12%
15 Indonesia 144,332 0.06%
16 India 385,135 0.03%

Hunger strike at Guantanamo

Prisoners and guards have had violent confrontations at Guantanamo Bay as the guards moved inmates, many of whom are on hunger strike, out of communal cellblocks.

The move came after detainees covered surveillance cameras and windows, a US Army spokesman said.

He said some prisoners used “improvised weapons” and in response “four less-than-lethal rounds” were fired.

The Pentagon says 43 prisoners are on hunger strike, but lawyers representing the detainees say the number is higher.

Almost a dozen are being force-fed, according to military officials.

There were no “serious injuries to guards or detainees” in Saturday’s clashes, according to Capt Robert Durand of the US military’s Southern Command.

“I know for sure that one detainee was hit but the injuries were minor, just some bruises,” another spokesman, Col Greg Julian, told the Associated Press.

Lawyers for some of the detainees condemned the camp authorities’ actions.

Carlos Warner, who represents several detainees, told AP that “the military is escalating the conflict”.

Prisoner’s anger

Hunger strikes have happened frequently at the US military prison, but this protest, which began in February, is reportedly one of the longest and most widespread.

However, Guantanamo officials deny claims that the strike began after copies of the Koran were mishandled during searches of prisoners’ cells.

Human rights groups and lawyers representing the prisoners say it reflects growing frustration at the US’ failure to decide the future of the prisoners

Nearly 100 of the detainees have been reportedly cleared for release but remain at the facility because of Congressional restrictions and also concerns of possible mistreatment if they are sent back to their home countries.