Tag Archives: Guantanamo

US Government support for human rights merely a show?

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As the Guantanamo hunger strike enters its 120th day, the US House of Representatives has voted to keep the notorious detention center open in Cuba, blocking the use of taxpayer money to house any detainees transferred out of the prison.

Follow RT’s day-by-day timeline of the Gitmo hunger strike.

Although President Barack Obama said last month that he was determined to close the facility, where over 100 inmates have been on hunger strike since early February, the recent vote upheld a law blocking the use of taxpayer funds to build or renovate facilities in the US to house suspected terrorists and other prisoners from Guantanamo Bay.

Obama first promised to shut down Guantanamo in 2008. Since then, relatives of detainees have held out hope they would be reunited with their husbands, brothers and sons. One family of a Yemeni inmate told RT’s sister channel Russia Al Youm it is unlikely they would ever see their loved ones ever again.

Obama’s recent promise to lift restrictions on Yemeni Gitmo detainees was greeted with sneers in the country. “America’s support for human rights is merely a show! It only cares about its own people, while it destroys the rights of all others. We’ve been suffering for 13 years now,” the mother of Abdurrakhman ash-Shbaty, a Yemeni terror suspect kept at the controversial detention center since 2002, told Abdelaziz Al Khayajim.

And after ash-Shbaty was arrested, his entire family was accused of terror links. “We’re tired of these nonstop lies. Obama remembers about Guantanamo only during election campaigns and on holidays. He promised to shut it down several times and to forward their cases to their home countries. These are all lies,” ash-Shbaty’s brother said.

In May, President Obama announced he was lifting his self-imposed ban on transferring Guantanamo detainees to Yemen, despite reports that detainees returned to Yemen have joined terrorist fighters in the Arab nation. These security concerns prompted Obama to suspend transfers to Yemen in 2010 after a Nigerian man attempted to blow up a US-bound flight on Christmas Day 2009 with explosives hidden in his underwear on instructions from Al-Qaeda operatives in Yemen.

According to Yemen experts in the US, security in the country has improved since last year’s ouster of authoritarian leader Ali Abdullah Saleh. In an effort to combat terror, his successor Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi has restored cooperation with the US. Yemen is also demanding $20 million from Washington to build a rehab center for former Guantanamo detainees extradited to the country. The facility’s program would ostensibly discourage them from returning to militant activities.

http://rt.com/news/gitmo-detainee-yemen-relatives-244/

‘Political football’: Gitmo detainees ‘abandoned’ by US government

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Left in legal limbo, desperation continues to drive the Guantanamo hunger strike on its 100th day. Facing a chronic lack of political will from Washington, the fate of the prisoners remains ambiguous, investigative journalist Andy Worthington argues.

On Thursday the number of Guantanamo’s 166 prisoners now taking part in the mass hunger strike reached 102. Thirty of the detainees are being force-fed, and three are being observed in the detainee hospital.

Follow RT’s day-by-day timeline of the Gitmo hunger strike.

In the eleven and a half years that the prisoners have been held in the detention camp, some 90 per cent of them have not been charged with a crime. That, coupled with the fact that many of the detainees were already cleared for release but have faced stiff resistance from Congress and equivocation from the White House, has forced the prisoners to risk life and health to be heard, Worthington told RT.

http://on.rt.com/dcnj95

Guantanamo Detainees being Sexually assaulted?

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As the Guantanamo hunger strike enters day 100, the inmates’ lawyers have revealed details of abuses their clients are subject to, while the prison authorities keep denying they are resorting to practices violating human rights.

A fair trial would have been a natural step. To have all of the parties heard and resolve the crisis, believes Clive Stafford Smith, founder of legal group Reprieve, and an attorney for several detainees in the Guantánamo Bay camp.

Follow RT’s day-by-day timeline of the Gitmo hunger strike.

RT spoke to the activist who was first to reveal some of the harsh methods allegedly used in Guantanamo, including degrading body searches, which inmates have to undergo just to phone their representatives.
http://rt.com/op-edge/gitmo-hunger-strike-lawyer-371/

Gitmo hunger strike briefing reaches US Congress

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At a packed briefing on Capitol Hill, Gitmo attorneys pleaded to Congress on behalf of starving detainees at Guantanamo Bay to shut down the prison and free the dozens of men cleared for release.

Speakers included rights activists, religious clergy and Bush administration officials who condemned the past and current treatment of prisoners, particularly those being force fed.

Additional concerns were raised about detainee treatment, indefinite detention and the eroding moral standing of the United States in the international community.

Although Congress has the power to close Guantanamo, it has thus far kept it running and all signs point to its continued operation. Therefore attention is turning away from Capitol Hill and being focused on the President to fulfill his promise and shut down the notorious prison.

Last week, President Barack Obama renewed the pledge he made 5 years ago to close Guantanamo. But years of similar statements from the president without any action have left many skeptical.

The briefing is the first to take place since Obama’s pledge, in hopes that it will put pressure on him to act on his words and Congress to participate in greater dialogue and oversight on the prison’s operations.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/05/11/302854/gitmo-hunger-strike-briefing-reaches-us-congress/

Аs Guantanamo hunger strike worsens, Navy brings in dozens of medical reinforcements

Watch video. http://youtu.be/UGmTQtG_y2g

With the hunger strike by detainees at Guantanamo Bay entering its twelfth week, some 40 additional US Navy medical forces arrived over the weekend as the facility struggles to cope with force-feedings and ailing prisoners.

According to a Guantanamo spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Samuel House, the team of dozens arrived at the prison facility over the weekend, and include nurses and medical specialists.

As of Saturday, the official count on inmates involved in the hunger strike is at 100 out of the total 166 population. Of that number, 21 are being force fed through nasal tubes and five are hospitalized, though military officials will not acknowledge whether any are in life-threatening condition.

Lawyers for several of the detainees believe that the number of hunger strikers at Guantanamo is actually 130, higher than official estimates. Regardless, official numbers on Monday indicate that an additional inmate had been placed on a feeding tube since Saturday.

According to the Miami Herald, the US Navy medical reinforcements arrived in conjunction with an inspection by Red Cross delegates evaluating detainee conditions there.

A lawyer representing Fayiz al-Kandari, 35, claims that his client has been tube-fed against his will for a week. The public defender accused US military personnel of using an “unnecessarily large feeding tube” on the Kuwaiti detainee.

http://rt.com/usa/guantanamo-medical-hunger-strike-597/

Indefinite detentions at Guantanamo must stop – ex-US ambassador to Mexico

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Guantanamo prisoners are presumed guilty even though the US cannot prove it, ex-congressman James Jones told RT, pressing for an end of the indefinite detentions in the notorious jail gripped by a hunger strike.

Guantanamo, America’s infamous prison camp at the US naval base in Cuba, has been under new media scrutiny since February as the hunger strike within the detention facility has been spreading. While the officials have admitted that one hundred of the 166 detainees have joined the action, their lawyers talk of at least 130 of those being involved.

What started as a protest against heavy-handed searches, has grown into an action against indefinite detentions. Over half of detainees have been cleared for release but cannot leave due to various administrative obstacles and fear to die in the prison.

The weakened state of the inmates has already led to the authorities force-feeding them through nasal tubes — a practice which was condemned by the UN’s human rights office as a form of torture.

The co-chair of the Task Force constitution project, former member of the Congress and ambassador to Mexico, James Jones, sat with RT to discuss the Guantanamo issue. He believes indefinite detentions should be stopped and that in the prison the US acts against own declared principles of justice.

http://rt.com/op-edge/indefinite-detentions-guantanamo-ambassador-825/