US military officials have confirmed that 52 prisoners being held at the Guantanamo Bay camp in Cuba have gone on hunger strike.

According to human rights campaigners the protest is against inhumane conditions, indefinite detention and the lack of legal representation at the detention facility.

The authorities say that, so far, the men had refused nine meals over three days and were being monitored by medical professionals.

The Centre for Constitutional Rights, a US human rights group based in New York, issued a statement this week that said hunger strikes have been going on at the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay since late last month.

The news coincides with the release, this week, of eight detainees from the base on Wednesday.

The Associated Press in the US has quoted two of the released as saying that some 180 men are on hunger strike at the camp.

The International Committee of the Red Cross is scheduled to send a delegation to the camp next week.

510 men are being held in Guantanamo Bay. Some have been held for over three years without trial.