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 — 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.released a video showing Bay being force-fed according to the precise guidelines for force feeding at Guantanamo.  

*It is a painful piece to view – but we think it important to both WATCH & SHARE ( and use circulating it as an opportunity to invite people to participate in WATs rolling fast )*

Timed for the start of the holy month of Ramadan, the video is already drawing international attention to the barbaric practice of force-feeding, especially during a time of fasting in Islam. 

Here in the United States, inmates in the California prison system are undertaking a hunger strike protesting the pervasive use of extended solitary confinement in state prisons.  Anti-GTMO activists are signing up for a “pledge of resistance” to such abuses and signing a petition supporting the core demands of the US hunger strike.

Also, hundreds of people around the country continue to engage in solidarity fasts with the hunger strikers in Guantanamo, with several individuals weeks into open-ended fasts.  Diane Wilson recently ended her 58 day solidarity fast after scaling the White House fence.  At the end of this e-mail, we share a powerful reflection by a member of our extended community who has participated in the solidarity fast.

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>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. line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>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:

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>“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: line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>‘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 torture.’
line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>The officer’s face changed and he walked away.”
line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>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.