Pentagon denies Quran desecration at Gitmo
WASHINGTON (PAN): The Pentagon has strongly refuted Taliban allegations of THE desecration of the Holy Quran at the Guantanamo detention centre, an incident that allegedly provoked prisoners to go on hunger strike.
"It's nonsense. There's absolutely no mishandling of the Quran. No way has the holy book in any shape or form been abused or mistreated. So their claims are nonsense," said Gen. John Kelly, commander of the US southern command.
Kelly was responding to questions about allegations that Guantanamo prisoners were on hunger strike against the desecration on the Holy Quran.
In a statement on Monday, the Taliban said for 40 days inmates of the Guantanamo detention centre had been on strike because of the alleged desecration of the Quran and abuse of prisoners by American wardens.
“I can also tell you, we are responsible for the safe, humane, legal and transparent care and custody of detainees. We perform this mission every day and that the care and health of detainees in our custody are our number one priority,” a Pentagon official told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Kelly told reporters at a Pentagon news conference last week about 24 of Guantanamo inmates were in a hunger strike-like situation. “Generally speaking, we think about 24 of them are on hunger strike-like, where they're eating a bit…”
According to Kelly, these inmates had great hope that the facility would be closed, but nothing like that had happened so far, nor it was mentioned in the State of the Union Address of President Barack Obama.
“This is them bringing this up to us, that nothing in the inauguration speech about closing it, nothing in the State of the Union. So from that they have decided, obviously, that they need to be heard -- perhaps more than they have been. So (this is) their attempt to kind of regain some attention have in some cases declared that they're on a hunger strike,” Kelly said.
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