The US military running the Guantanamo Bay prison have cracked down hard on the dozens of prisoners who have, in desperation, engaged in secret hunger strikes so that they may die in peace making their point about the American gulag without being force-fed by US authorities.
Of the 166 who remain in indefinite detention, without charge or trial, 86 have been “cleared for release.” But they will not be released. They will most likely be held until they die. Many have likely already gone insane, as they were captured with no evidence, given no trials, tortured, and forced to live in a tropical Siberia.
Some 130 of the 166 are participating in the hunger strike. Most of them would rather die than live in the Orwellian hell. As the Guardian reports:
“The Soviet Union had gulags, ‘but no Soviet gulag ever had 52 per cent of its prisoners cleared for release,’ says Clive Stafford Smith, director of the legal charity Reprieve, who has been representing Guantanamo detainees almost since the place opened in January 2002.
“One of his clients is the Saudi-born British resident Shaker Aamer, captured in Afghanistan in November 2001 and brought to Guantanamo in February 2002. He has been cleared not once but twice, in 2007 and then by the Obama administration in 2009. But the US won’t let him go, not even back to its trusty ally Britain, where Aamer’s family live. Fluent in English, Mr Aamer is regarded as a ‘leader’ among the detainees. Many suspect that the Americans will never free him, because he knows so much, and would speak out.”
The paper continues:
“Today, even George Orwell would have been pressed to conceive the plight of the 86: cleared for release, but denied freedom, using a hunger strike as their last weapon, only to be kept alive by the very people who will not let them go.”
Imagine being kept alive by your jailers and torturers with the knowledge that you will never be freed, only kept alive to suffer longer for crimes you did not commit — and which even your jailers and their overlords admit you did not commit.
Yet the US has the gall to hector and lecture neighboring Cuba, Russia, Belarus, Venezuela, and so on about “human rights.” Countries which, by the way, operate nothing even approximating the US Guantanamo Gulag.6:56 pm on April 13, 2013 Email Daniel McAdams