Here is a NY Times editorial by Guantanamo Bay prisoner Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel, who has been held there without a charge for over 11 years. This is the 21st century version of the Japanese internment camps during World War II. It is truly shameful that this facility is still in operation.
President Obama pledged to close down Guantanamo Bay, but has so far not fulfilled that pledge. In the past there has been media attention to this reversal, but largely it has fallen away among the vortex that is the 24 hour news cycle. Hopefully this will reignite the conversation as to why we need to close Guantanamo Bay.
I will post snippets to comply with Fair Use, but please read the entire article. It is not long.
Without further comment:
ONE man here weighs just 77 pounds. Another, 98. Last thing I knew, I weighed 132, but that was a month ago.
I’ve been on a hunger strike since Feb. 10 and have lost well over 30 pounds. I will not eat until they restore my dignity.
I’ve been detained at Guantánamo for 11 years and three months. I have never been charged with any crime. I have never received a trial.
I could have been home years ago — no one seriously thinks I am a threat — but still I am here. Years ago the military said I was a “guard” for Osama bin Laden, but this was nonsense, like something out of the American movies I used to watch. They don’t even seem to believe it anymore. But they don’t seem to care how long I sit here, either.
I am still being force-fed. Two times a day they tie me to a chair in my cell. My arms, legs and head are strapped down. I never know when they will come. Sometimes they come during the night, as late as 11 p.m., when I’m sleeping.
There are so many of us on hunger strike now that there aren’t enough qualified medical staff members to carry out the force-feedings; nothing is happening at regular intervals. They are feeding people around the clock just to keep up.
During one force-feeding the nurse pushed the tube about 18 inches into my stomach, hurting me more than usual, because she was doing things so hastily. I called the interpreter to ask the doctor if the procedure was being done correctly or not.
And there is no end in sight to our imprisonment. Denying ourselves food and risking death every day is the choice we have made.
I just hope that because of the pain we are suffering, the eyes of the world will once again look to Guantánamo before it is too late.