Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Name Game: When is a Hunger Strike not a hunger strike? When it gets filtered through GTMO's command

Restraint chair used to force-feed detainees on hunger strike at the hospital in Camp Delta, part of the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. 
Joe Raedle/Getty Images



The continuing saga of Guantanamo Bay Detention Center almost seems surreal. Abuse, torture .... a modern day Andersonville except war, for the detainees at least, may never end.

Tonight, Jason Leopold reports for Al Jazeera, "US manipulates number of GTMO hunger-strikers, says detainee,":


A Yemeni Guantanamo prisoner who was cleared for release four years ago claims 17 people held at the detention facility have been waging a hunger strike and are being subjected to brutal force-feedings by medical officers.

In harrowing letters sent to his attorneys at the UK-based human rights charity Reprieve, and obtained by Al Jazeera, Emad Hassan said the hunger strikers have been 'divided into two groups.'

'First there is ‘the long term group’ which consists of [six prisoners] who have spent a long time on hunger strike,” wrote Hassan, who has been on a hunger strike since 2007 and is suing the U.S. government to end his force-feeding. “We are treated completely differently to those in the second group. The second group are the other hunger strikers who are treated awfully.'

Hassan said the nurses and corpsmen who conduct the so-called 'forced cell extractions' and administer the feedings are using nasogastric tubes that are too big, and pushing the liquid nutritional supplement through the tube too quickly, causing the prisoners, including one who Hassan said weighs 80 pounds and has a broken arm, to vomit.

Force-feeding Guantanamo style - torture by any other name...

Last December, officials at Guantanamo imposed a new standard operating procedure for the hunger strikes - they are now rebranded “long-term non religious fasts.”

But the reality - these 17 men, on hunger strike, are still starving for OUR humanity.

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