Lawyers for prisoners say the hunger strike began around Feb. 6 to protest the virtual halt in releases under Obama as well as what they say is a tightening of restrictions and intrusive searches of their Qurans. According to the lawyers, most of the 166 prisoners are participating in the hunger strike.
U.S. officials also say there has been no tightening of restrictions and that the Qurans have been searched in a respectful way by Muslim translators looking for contraband such as medications or potential weapons. The military said 43 prisoners were classified as hunger strikers under a definition that includes missing nine consecutive meals.
A clash between guards and detainees erupted Saturday as the military closed a communal section of the facility and moved its inmates into single cells.
Killmer told reporters after the hearing that he will either file an appeal or a new petition.
"We're going to keep fighting," he said, adding that several other detainees are close to death as well. He said that Obama doesn't want to take responsibility for what's happening at the prison.
On Monday, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters the president continues to believe the prison should be closed, but "obstacles have been raised by Congress, and that remains a reality."
"But our position is clear," Carney said. "It's in our national security interest to pursue that, and the president remains committed to it."
He added: "We continue to monitor the hunger strikes specifically very closely."
Obama announced within days of his inauguration in January 2009 that he wanted to shutter the facility that houses terror suspects, but Republicans and some Democrats in Congress have resisted.
In 2010, Hogan tossed out most of the government's evidence against al-Madhwani on grounds his confessions were coerced, allegedly by U.S. forces, before he became a prisoner at Guantanamo. But Hogan ruled that statements he made during two military administrative hearings at the U.S. detention center in Cuba, where he was assisted by a personal representative, were reliable and sufficient to justify holding the detainee.
According to his lawyers, Musaab al-Madhwani is in his 11th year of imprisonment and has never been charged with a crime.