Gitmo News and more..


Perhaps you’ve seen the video of Mos Def being force fed to simulate what happens to those prisoners in Guantanamo Bay who are undergoing the same procedure.  If you haven’t, here it is in all it’s gory glory.

What’s significant about the video is the fact that many of those who are  not eating are those who have been cleared for release, some of them many years earlier but who still languish in Gitmo Bay for unknown, unexplained reasons.  One such person is Shaker Aamer

English: A photograph of Shaker Aamer cropped ...

English: A photograph of Shaker Aamer cropped from File:Abdul Shaker with Children.jpg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a desperate message from Guantánamo, Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison, told one of his lawyers by phone, “The administration is getting ever more angry and doing everything they can to break our hunger strike. Honestly, I wish I was dead.”

Shaker, who was cleared for release from the prison under President Bush in 2007 and under President Obama in 2009, was speaking to Clive Stafford Smith, the director of the legal action charity Reprieve, and his words were reported in the Observer, which also noted his claims that “the US authorities are systematically making the regime more hardline to try to defuse the strike, which now involves almost two-thirds of the detainees.”

 

If you want bios on those who have been cleared for release, you can read about them here. America is not proving itself to be a shining beacon of freedom and liberty with the continued imprisonment of innocent men; rather it is showing itself to be the opposite even under the guide and stewardship of the Nation’s first African-American president who campaigned on a theme of “Change”.  Those in Gitmo Bay are still waiting for the change and their release.

 

“Humanity Perseveres” at Guantanamo Amid Chaos of Hunger Strike


By Jason Leopold

On May 15, military officials at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility escorted visiting media to maximum security Camp 5, where non compliant prisoners are held, for a rare opportunity to observe the prisoners’ morning prayer. Aliya Hussain, who works with the Center for Constitutional Rights’ Global Justice Initiative, tweeted after she watched the video, “Despite all that’s cruel and unjust at Guantanamo, humanity perseveres.”

The visit to Camp 5 took place amid a mass hunger strike that is now entering its fourth month and counts 103 prisoners as taking part in the protest and 32 who are being force-fed. Media arrived at the camp at 4:30 am and were instructed to remain silent as the officer in charge of the camp did not want prisoners to know we were present. The prisoners did not leave their cells for prayer so we were unable to see them. What you are hearing (at 3:00 into the video) is the leader’s call to prayer being done from inside of his prison cell. The closest we in the media came to a seeing a prisoner on the cell block is when one man stuck his arms through a bean hole to hand the guard an unknown object. The guards walking the block are checking the prisoners cells every one to three minutes in accordance with their standard operating procedures. They are wearing “splash shields” over their faces to protect from being splashed with urine and feces, the military said.

As we exited the camp and waited outside for the gate to open, I looked up behind me and could see three very narrow prison cell windows. In one stood a prisoner dressed in white. He stared at me and gave me a “thumbs down” sign.

 

Hat tip @IngridMattson