Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Guantánamo Bay Hunger Strike

Nearly three and a half years into their illegitimate detention at Guantánamo, some 30 "illegal combatants" have started to protest the conditions in which they are held by going on hunger strike. The protest started at August 8. Twenty or so are now being force fed by means of needle feeding through the arm or nose.

It's likely the hunger strikers are also being forcibly held down or sedated to achieve the goal of force feeding, as removing a feeding tube would otherwise be easy to do by any determined striker.

Some are already comparing this hunger strike with Bobby Sands' actions, who together with nine other IRA prisoners starved himself to death during a protest over their prisoner status. But the comparison is flawed: firstly the IRA cadres had been given a fair trial and secondly their plight was widely publicised in the British media.

In contrast, the Guantánamo tragedy is largely a forgotten one and a cause only a few Westerners feel the slightest bit of sympathy for. After all, "these detainees are terrorists, right?" Wrong, they aren't guilty of anything until a trial in a valid court of law proves their involvement in terrorist acts or other crimes. And it appears likely that these "terrorist suspects" have nothing to do with 9/11 whatsoever.

As regards the conditions these people are being held, only the worst can be suspected: in such closed environments abuse almost always arises, as the
Abu Ghraib situation has also demonstrated.

Frankly, America's treatment of these suspected terrorists defies belief and is instigated by those claiming to want to "spread freedom and democracy" to the world. Some democracy... Is it any wonder that in certain circles of the blogosphere the USA of is now considered the "New Evil Empire", even the "Fourth Reich"?

When will the American public stand up and let their voice be heard against this crime against humanity that is being committed in their name?

Via Ed Strong.



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