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Now 16 Prisoners are Being Force-Fed: Why is Guantanamo Still Open?

Now 16 Prisoners are Being Force-Fed: Why is Guantanamo Still Open?

More than half of the men held at the Guantanamo detention facility have joined a hunger strike to protest their open-ended detention.

According to the U.S. military, of the 166 prisoners, 84 are on hunger strike. Of these, 16 are being force-fed using tubes that go through their noses and down into their stomachs. An additional six have been hospitalized for observation.

How can there still be 166 prisoners at Gitmo?

“As President, I will close Guantánamo,” President Obama promised in 2007. What happened?

Hunger strikes have occurred at Guantanamo since shortly after the military detention center opened in 2002 as a facility to hold suspects captured in counter-terrorism operations.

This particular hunger strike began in early February and has escalated since then. Detainees have said that guards seized photos and other belongings during a cell search and also mistreated Korans.

Voice Of The Detainees

From Truthout:

Abdulsalam Al-Hela does not understand why he and other Guantanamo prisoners reside in a perpetual state of legal limbo.

“Can it really be true that US, with all its power, all over the world, can’t solve the problems of 100 men?” he asked his attorney, David Remes, during a meeting in early March.

“Yes,” Remes told the Yemeni prisoner. “It’s true.”

No one knows what to do with these living artifacts of a post-9/11 world.

Some are waiting to stand trial for war crimes. Others – more than half – have been cleared by the US government to be returned to their homelands or other countries. All watch the days, weeks, months and years slip by without resolution, regardless of status.

Al-Hela, along with most of his fellow detainees, has been detained without charge or trial for nearly a decade.

These men are understandably desperate.

U.S. To Send More Medical Personnel

In response to the situation, the decision has been made to send additional medical personnel to the Guantanamo prison camp.

Fewer than 40 reinforcements will arrive by the end of April, according to Lieutenant Colonel Samuel House, a spokesman for the detention operation at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in southeastern Cuba.

How about working to close Gitmo instead of sending in a few doctors?

Of the 775 people detained in Guantanamo since its establishment, many have been found to be noncombatants with no ties to either the Taliban or al-Qaeda. Many of them were mistakenly apprehended or wrongfully turned over by anti-Taliban bounty hunters in Afghanistan. There are some truly horrific stories here.

Now just 166 prisoners remain in Gitmo, the majority of whom have either already been cleared or are expected to be cleared of charges due to lack of evidence.

So why are they still there?

According to the BBC:

Nearly 100 of the detainees have reportedly been cleared for release but remain at the facility because of restrictions imposed by Congress and also concerns of possible mistreatment if they are sent back to their home countries.

“How can the military, even the military, hope to maintain discipline over a prison camp where there is absolutely no hope for those men confined here,” said Lieutenant Commander Kevin Bogucki, a US Navy military lawyer who was visiting his clients at the base.

The hunger strike is the last resort of the frustrated and powerless, which is clearly why it’s happening in Guantanamo. In 1981, the Irish hunger strike did succeed, but not before ten prisoners had starved to death; in 2012, up to 900 prisoners began such a strike in Russia, to protest their abominable conditions; and in the prisons of California, a hunger strike was also used to draw attention to the plight of prisoners.

Isn’t it time we closed the Guantanamo detention center?

 

Related Care2 Coverage

Ten Years of Guantanamo: What Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld Knew

Up To 900 Russian Prisoners Start Hunger Strike

‘Indisputable’ Use Of Torture Under Bush, Report Finds

 

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Photo Credit: AslanMedia

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186 comments

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8:03AM PDT on Jun 13, 2013

if these men were innocent before, they NOW have an issue with the US due to poor treatment and being unfairly kept from their families and their homes. I can't imagine it

8:52AM PDT on May 7, 2013

Kate S. said "Don't think for a moment that having those terrorists there is a bad thing when the results of "interrogation" has probably save countless numbers of lives, including your own and not to mention those soldiers who protect your freedoms in foreign lands!"

All reports and sources have proven than torture NEVER saved ANY lives, And when you invoke the name of U.S. soldiers in the inhumane, unconstitutional, and illegal use of torture you STAIN my service in this nation's military.

Yes, the First Amendment gives you the right to state any damn fool thing you want, and it gives me the right to call you on your bullshit.

10:29PM PDT on May 6, 2013

I see the "God" person Elaine is here wanting the prisoners to die......yet she's over on another thread not wanting a seriously ill woman with a non-viable fetus to have an abortion even though carrying this fetus may kill the Mom.....Now there's two faced reasoning.

10:17PM PDT on May 6, 2013

Easy there KEVIN AND THE RAINBOW FOLLOWERS...easy now. I AM NOT TRYING TO FORCE FEED ANYONE MY OPINIONS. Perhaps you looked right through parts of MY OPINION... the word "probably" was used because I don't have direct proof OF THE BENEFITS OF GUANTANAMO, although you probably assume a "sadistic monkey" is behind it! ? ! Huh. Interesting theory. I'll stick with mine. But riddle me this there skittles-


Rainbow states: " I agree Kevin. I know information has to be obtained, but it’s a proven fact you get nothing through torture. And if they aren’t POW’s (which they cannot be classified as such) they must be charged with a crime or released. Even POW’s are usually released after cease fire/treaty. We began releasing POW’s immediately after Desert Storm from EPW camps."

"IT'S A PROVEN FACT YOU GET NOTHING THROUGH TORTURE". REALLY? PROVE IT THEN. I DON'T THINK YOU CAN. DON'T WRITE A CHECK IF YOUR WORDS CAN'T CASH.

KEVIN. THANKS FOR YOUR SERVICES TO OUR COUNTRY- BUT YOU DO SOUND A LITTLE BITTER. PERHAPS YOU CAN UNDERSTAND THAT WE HAVE RIGHTS TO OUR OWN OPINIONS THANKS TO OUR FIRST AMENDMENT. AGAIN I REALLY DON'T THINK THOSE GUYS (TERRORISTS) WERE DELIVERING MEALS TO THE ELDERLY OR VOLUNTEERING FOR CHARITY WHEN THEY WERE CAPTURED OR DETAINED. APPARENTLY YOU THINK THEY WERE. OH AND ANYONE WHO KILLS ANOTHER IN MY BOOK IS SUB-HUMAN. CONSIDER MY STATEMENT EARLIER NOT AS "STAINING" YOUR SERVICES TO OUR COUNTRY- YOU'RE WAY OFF THE MARK THERE SOLDIER.

9:01PM PDT on Apr 30, 2013

This is an absolute embarrassment. It needs to end.

8:00PM PDT on Apr 30, 2013

Kate S. said "Don't think for a moment that having those terrorists there is a bad thing when the results of "interrogation" has probably save countless numbers of lives...."

I agree Kevin. I know information has to be obtained, but it’s a proven fact you get nothing through torture. And if they aren’t POW’s (which they cannot be classified as such) they must be charged with a crime or released. Even POW’s are usually released after cease fire/treaty. We began releasing POW’s immediately after Desert Storm from EPW camps.

But when they want to do this they can.
When I was in I saw things that turned my stomach. Sometimes I think there’s a sadistic monkey in charge who just likes to do this crap. Like my CO told me,”this stuff you really don’t ask about and I won’t tell.”

1:08AM PDT on Apr 30, 2013

This whole thing is just poltical pressure . Old news !

1:43AM PDT on Apr 29, 2013

We are not sure that these people were really a threat to the US... Guantanamo should be closed NOW and all this torture is cruel and unnecessary. It seems that the US soldiers enjoy themselves while torturing other human beings. Great for Dreamland USA!!!

1:41AM PDT on Apr 29, 2013

The one hundred odd prisoners which our own government has determined are innocent of any charges against them are still in Guantanamo Bay because the cowards in Congress are afraid that they will turn against us --become what we accused them of in other words-- due to the bad treatment and lack of due process and torture they received at our hands and the others are still there because Congress voted to not fund their transfer to facilities on the mainland for fear their compatriots will retaliate. Indefinite confinement --especially of innocents-- is abhorrent and shameful and proves that the home of the brave does not include Congress.

8:06PM PDT on Apr 28, 2013

Okay Elaine A., one more time for those of you who have not been paying attention. The people in Guantanamo have NEVER been convicted of ANYTHING! Got it? Do you understand? Is it sinking in?

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