Sunday, April 28, 2013

A detainee speaks and "Life Under Lockdown"

Carol Rosenberg has a good article about life for the detainees under Obama- life right now at the base sounds a lot like the harsh life the detainees suffered through under Bush- before attorneys were allowed onto the base- for example, the men are now in solitary confinement  24 hours a day- they can have nothing in their cells with them except a small isomat, a sheet and a pillow-their showers are scheduled for them as is their force feeding- they are shuffled around in shackles. 

One detainee spoke to his attorney last week and told his attorney first hand what life is like right now.... "The cells were emptied of everything." They now only have a isomat, a sheet and a pillow. "No other items are permitted in the cell. No books, no soap, no toothbrushes. Nothing." They are in a 24 hour lock down and isolation but according to the detainee "This will not break the strike, this will push the resolve deeper in the men."

  In short their lives suck....but the men decided that it sucked even more to continue to sit and wait for something to happen. Nothing is going to happen with this president unless he is embarrassed into doing something. If the only thing that will embarrass the president enough to do something is more death-so be it.

The same detainee described the attack by the military on April 13th (hours after the ICRC left the island) " The Military stormed the camp without notice or warning. Many were hit with rubber bullets at close range. ...Only hunger strikers were hit. Everyone's hands were tied behind their back and the men were left on the floor for 6 hours in this position, face down. The men were not permitted to use the bathroom during this time. The men's clothes were soaked with pepper spray and this caused further illness. The treatment was "vicious." This was a one sided war, as the hunger strike is intended to be a peaceful protest."

That detainee who spoke out is also-like most of the men- on a hunger strike and is being force-fed. He described his force-feeding this way-"I am exhausted and completely skinny. ..The military is using a size 10 tube instead of size 8. I Requested an 8, but the military will not comply. The 10 is too big and induces vomiting. The 10 makes it hard to breathe. My entire body is tied down and the large tube is inserted."

"This is a peaceful protest.  There was a one sided war on April 13. The demand is the same. Surrender the Korans. There has been no communication with the men, only force. The men are asking that an official come and speak to them as humans. We wish to speak directly. We want the conditions to be the same as before the strike, but the military must speak with them to negotiate, not just exert force and use violence over starving and weak men. Allowing a rule that the men may surrendur the Koran will cause a majority of the men to begin eating again. The men are resolved to continue their peaceful protest and to negotiate with the military. The military is using their suffering to close Guantanamo. This is a peaceful protest."

I guess it must makes the military feel tough and strong to treat the detainees in this fashion. I only wish it would make the American people ashamed about what is being done in their name....but I guess they are too busy watching tv.


The bipartisan "torture report" concluded that yes it is true the good ole U S of A did in fact use torture- and it didn't make us any safer.
You can download a full copy or an abridged version here.
what a surprise....


Sorry for the long delay here is what we know about the hunger strike as of today:

* the military is now admitting what we (the attorneys) have been saying for more than six weeks- that most of the men being held at the base are on a hunger strike. We know the number is around 130- the military admits more than 100.;
*the military now admits that 20 men are being force fed;
*the military now admits it is not equipped to handle this many hunger strikers and that they had to ship in almost 100 medics;
* despair by the inmates is heightened by the failure to release even one detainee in several years and the periodic review boards (PRB's) that Obama promised more than one year ago -for the men who are not "cleared for release" have not occurred because the CIA refuses to allow the torture the men were subjected to be used in those hearings to explain things like admissions (admissions under torture);
*Sen. Feinstein called for a review of the moratorium of the Yemeni men (which she suggested... by the way...)
*at the same time that our clients are preparing to die rather than be warehoused indefinitely, getting to Guantanamo has become more difficult for the attorneys representing them- the one airline that flies to Guantanamo only flies on monday and friday which means an attorney like me would have to take off an entire week to visit my one client for a day. Military flights had been an option but the military just declared that the attorneys can no longer use those flights.