Friday, 12 July 2013

Petition for Guantanamo force-fed prisoners

Yesterday I started a petition for the prisoners in Guantanamo who have been on hunger strike and are now being force-fed twice daily because of body weight loss.


Below is the e-mail I received which prompted me to start  the petition:

Subject:  A message from Gitmo, Force-Feeding Video, & CA Hunger Strike

Day 152 of the Guantanamo Hunger Strike

Dear Friends:

One hundred fifty-two days into the hunger strike and now weeks past
President Obama's renewed promise to close the prison at Guantanamo
remains in a state of moral, political, and medical emergency.  More
than 40 men are being force-fed, in a practice condemned by human
rights organizations, medical professionals, and even the head of the
US Senate Intelligence Committee Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

But the resolve of the detained men remains unbroken, as they endure
hunger, illness, and new forms of torture in their bid for justice.

Inspired by their resistance, the world community continues to speak out.

This morning, the actor and rap artist Yasiin Bay (aka Mos Def),
teaming up with the UK's Reprieve, released a video showing Bay being
force-fed according to the precise guidelines for force feeding at

[WATCH: Mos Def Undergoes Force-Feeding To Protest Gunatanamo Prison ]

An attorney for several men at Guantanamo recently wrote Witness
Against Torture to say:

"I was at GTMO all week meeting with clients. I wanted to share with
you the following words from . . .  Moath al-Alwi, a Yemeni national
who has been in U.S. custody without fair process since 2002.

Moath was one of the very first prisoners to reach GTMO, where the
U.S. military assigned him Internment Serial Number (ISN 028). He has
been on hunger strike since February and the U.S. military is now
force-feeding him.  Moath shared the following during our meeting,
translated as accurately as I could from the Arabic:

"I recently had an interesting conversation with one of the Navy
officers in charge of my force-feeding here at Guantanamo. He told he
was here to make sure I was treated humanely as I was being force-fed.
So I answered through the interpreter, saying:

"What I am enduring now is torture and the American people will tell
you as much. Humanitarian organizations, various human rights bodies,
as well as American groups such as Witness Against Torture and Doctors
Without Borders have all declared that what is taking place at
Guantanamo is a violation of human rights and that it amounts to

"The officer's face changed and he walked away."

The men at GTMO are fully aware of your work and their eyes literally
tear up when I describe the various protest actions you and your
fellow activists have undertaken in solidarity with their plight. To
say they are grateful would be an understatement.


Our eyes fill with tears as we contemplate the significance of what
Moath shared: that our actions  however inadequate we feel them to be
help the men at Guantanamo resist assaults on their dignity and
confront their persecutors, with added confidence in the justice of
their position and the world's concern for their plight.  There can be
no greater affirmation of the value of our efforts, nor greater
motivation for us to work harder."

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