Tag Archives: United States

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/

Woman Interrupts President Obama Repeatedly on Gitmo

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President Obama had enough and adressess Woman who was shouting and interrupting him repeatedly during a Press Conference which included Guantanamo Bay on Gitmo during CNN’s Live Coverage. The woman it turns out is Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin.

Watch Video.  http://youtu.be/svkEUPP6FfQ

Gitmo hunger strike passes 100-day mark

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As the hunger strike of detainees at the U-S-run Guantanamo Bay prison reaches it’s a-hundred-and-first day, rights activists are raising awareness about the inmates’ rapidly-deteriorating health conditions. The U-S government’s response to the strike has been to force-feed the prisoners through two-foot tubes that run from their nostrils to their stomachs. The inhumane practice is causing a major concern for many.

Captain Jason Wright is representing two Gitmo detainees, one of whom has been held indefinitely for over 11 years without charge and has lost around 50 pounds since beginning the hunger strike more than 100 days ago.

The infamous prison is still open because the average American public sees the detainees there as terrorists. But according to former Chief Prosecutor of the Guantanamo military commissions, Colonel Morris Davis, a new trend is beginning to form. A recent petition launched by Davis has garnered over two-hundred-thousand signatures.

Diane Wilson is one such American who says the US government is committing egregious human rights violations in her name. Wilson has been on a hunger strike for 17 days now in solidarity with Gitmo detainees.

Each detainee costs US taxpayers around $nine-hundred-thousand dollars per year. Over half of the prison’s population has been cleared by the government for release.

Protests in solidarity with Gimo hunger strikers have been and will continue to take place. Activists are trying to build momentum in raising awareness of the American public about the worsening health conditions of the prisoners there. They hope it will increase political pressure on U-S President Barack Obama to honor his promise to close the Guantanamo Bay prison.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/05/17/303962/gitmo-hunger-strike-passes-100day-mark/

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/

Protesters urge US president to shut Gitmo down

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It’s day number 90 for a hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay Prison.

According to the U-S military, at least 100 detainees there, are refusing to eat and are being kept alive through nasogastric intubation: in other words “force-feeding through a nose tube.”

Diane Wilson is an activist who’s highlighting the increasingly dire situation for the 166 detainees at America’s infamous prison in Cuba nicknamed “Gitmo.” She’s on day 5 of her hunger strike that she’s doing in solidarity with the dozens of prisoners there. She’s on a diet of salt water and potassium.

Members of activist groups have been hunger striking on rotation in 24 hour periods. And an online movement has been growing with thousands pledging support each week.

Groups such as CODEPINK and Witness Against Torture have been holding protests and vigils at the White House on a constant basis. They say their activism is being recognized by the Congress and the White House and that the Obama administration is feeling the pressure.

Leaders of the activist groups say they are experiencing a jump in interest from people who are still learning about the health crisis of detainees at Gitmo.

But the dozens of prisoners incarcerated without adjudication aren’t only restricted to Guantanamo. Ali Elghannam stood alongside with protesters to appeal for the release of his brother, an Egyptian national locked inside a Swiss prison without trial since 2007. He was arrested under the guise of the “war on terror” like the men at Gitmo.

US President Barack Obama has reaffirmed his pledge to close Guantanamo Bay prison but has so far been unsuccessful from his first term attempts. Activists say they will continue to keep the pressure on the president until he keeps his promise. Colin Campbell, Press TV, Washington.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/05/06/302030/protesters-urge-us-president-to-shut-gitmo-down/

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/