US defends Guantanamo prison to int'l human rights body amid reports of worsening conditions

Attorneys for prisoners held at the Guantanamo Bay prison are taking their allegations of worsening conditions at the U.S. base in Cuba to an international human rights commission.

Three attorneys testified before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that prisoners have severe psychological problems stemming from their indefinite detention and that many prisoners are on hunger strike. Attorney and law professor Ramzi Kassem described conditions as "dire."

A State Department official countered that the 166 prisoners are treated humanely and get extensive medical treatment. The senior State Department adviser told the commission Tuesday that President Barack Obama still wants to close the prison but has been hampered by restrictions imposed by Congress.

Williams did not address the hunger strike but the military denies that it is widespread.