US senators Dianne Feinstein of California and Dick Durbin of Illinois sent a letter Wednesday to President Barack Obama urging him to "end the unnecessary force-feedings of detainees" at the US military's Guantanamo Bay prison.
According to the Pentagon, 106 of 166 prisoners are currently on a hunger strike while 45 are being force-fed during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Fasting from dawn until sunset is obligatory for observant Muslims around the world. According to a prison spokesman, the detainees will only be fed "after sunset and before dawn."
More from GlobalPost: As Ramadan begins, Gitmo force-feeding continues
Navy Capt. Robert Durand told The Miami Herald "we will ensure that our preservation of life... does not violate the tenets of their faith."
In their letter, Feinstein and Durbin wrote "the growing problem of hunger strikes is due to the fact that many detainees have remained in legal limbo for more than a decade and have given up hope."
They added, "this should be alarming to all of us."
On Monday a federal judge rejected a bid by a Guantanamo prisoner to halt force-feeding during Ramadan but urged the US president to "address" the issue. US District Judge Gladys Kessler said Congressional law prevented her from intervening on behalf of the "enemy combatants."
More from GlobalPost: US judge rejects Guantanamo detainee's bid to stop force-feeding
The White House responded by reiterating Press Secretary Jay Carney's statement Tuesday that Obama "made clear in April and I think it holds true today that we don’t want these individuals to die and the action being taken is to prevent that from happening."
Meanwhile, the plight of the detainees has garnered international attention, the latest from rapper and actor Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, who undergoes the nose-to-stomach force-feeding in this video (warning: contains graphic images):