January 8, 2013 

Day 338 – Guantánamo hunger strike

IMG_0149

29 prisoners on strike, 19 force-fed, 0 in hospital (track hunger strike)CA Arms together Hunger Strike solidarity

Pelican Bay 5 Core Demands urged by California Prisoners’ Hunger Strike (July 8-Sept 5, 2013)


Valley residents hold protest against Guantanamo Bay prisons

Posted: Sat, January 11 2014 at 6:46 PM, Updated: Sun, January 12 2014 at 6:49 AM

Protesters across the nation gathered Saturday to raise awareness about Guantanamo Bay, the prison in Cuba where since the 1950′s prisoners of war have been tortured.

One rally was held in downtown Medford at Vogel Plaza.

http://www.kobi5.com/news/local-news/item/valley-residents-hold-protest-against-guantanamo-bay.html#.UtzHMBAo7IV

http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?Site=MM&Date=20140111&Category=MEDIA01&ArtNo=111009997&Ref=PH&Presentation=desktop


 

December 10, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 9, 2013

Contact: Noor Mir, CODEPINK Organizer, 845-625-3725, noor@codepink.org

  Alli McCracken, CODEPINK Organizer, 860-575-5692, alli@codepink.org

Emergency Protest at Algerian Embassy in DC for Cleared Gitmo Prisoner Forced Back to Algeria, Now Detained

What: Emergency Protest at Algerian Embassy for Release of Guantánamo prisoner Djamel Ameziane, hosted by CODEPINK, Witness Against Torture, Center for Constitutional Rights

When: 2-3 pm, Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Where: Algerian Embassy, 2118 Kalorama Rd NW, Washington, DC

Washington, DC –– Human rights organizations CODEPINK, Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and Witness Against Torture (WAT) will hold an emergency protest outside the Algerian Embassy to demand the immediate release of CCR client Djamel Ameziane. On the day celebrated as International Human Rights Day, the coalition of groups is calling upon the US and Algerian governments to respect the human rights of Ameziane, who was callously transferred against his will to the one place he dreaded more than Guantánamo. This move is in violation of international law, including the Convention Against Torture.

Ameziane had been imprisoned at Guantánamo without charge since 2002 and cleared for release since 2008. While at Guantánamo, Ameziane suffered immensely from abuse and solitary confinement. On December 5th of this year, he was forcibly transferred from Guantánamo to Algeria, where he is currently being held in secret detention. Despite viable resettlement opportunities in offers of asylum from Luxembourg and other countries, the U.S. government chose to send him into a dangerous situation without any explanation where he fears persecution.

Ameziane’s decade-long imprisonment at Guantánamo for over a decade and unexplained and forceful involuntary transfer into secret detention will be challenged by peace groups that are determined that to have this innocent man sees justice. “We demand that the Algerian Government immediately release Djamel Ameziane from secret detention, treat him humanely, and respect his human rights,” said Ameziane’s CCR attorney J. Wells Dixon. “We further call on the international community to demand transparency and accountability from the Algerian government and to ensure that Mr. Ameziane does not suffer persecution now or in the future.”

“We have to act before it’s too late. Mr. Ameziane has already suffered enough at the hands of the U.S.government at Guantánamo Bay prison. He’s been through more than ten years of injustice, and we can’t let it happen again,” commented Noor Mir, an organizer with the peace group CODEPINK.

- See more at: http://codepink.org/article.php?id=6547#sthash.rdrvmzro.dpuf

A copy of the letter: http://ccrjustice.org/files/2013.12.10_Letter%20of%20Concern%20to%20the%20Algerian%20Embassy%20in%20DC%20Re%20Ameziane.pdf


 

November 18, 2013

Urge Your Senators to Support Closing Guantanamo

Any day now, Senators will have a chance to vote on legislation that gives President Obama greater flexibility to transfer people out of Guantanamo. The bill’s improved provisions, introduced earlier this year by Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Carl Levin (D-MI), would help ensure that Guantanamo closes as soon as possible-and that each detainee is either safely and fairly tried in US federal court, or transferred to other countries.

The vote is expected to be tight – but we can get the provisions passed with your support! Make sure your elected officials vote the right way on Guantanamo. Urge your two Senators to support Senator Levin’s transfer provisions.

Sign the petition: http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/siteapps/advocacy/ActionItem.aspx?c=6oJCLQPAJiJUG&b=6645049&aid=520420&msource=W1311EASHR1


 

White House pushes to loosen Gitmo transfer rules

BY NEDRA PICKLER

ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is pushing to overcome obstacles to closing the Guantanamo Bay prison, setting the White House on a collision course with Congress in its bid to loosen restrictions for moving out detainees.

Administration officials say a Senate defense policy bill coming up for debate within days would allow them to move out prisoners who have long been cleared for transfer overseas but are still held, in part because of a complicated Pentagon certification process. The bill would ease those restrictions and lift a ban on bringing suspected terrorist prisoners from Guantanamo to the United States for detention, trial or emergency medical treatment.


November 17, 2013

A debrief with the 60 Minutes team who went to Gitmo

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504803_162-57612708-10391709/a-debrief-with-the-60-minutes-team-who-went-to-gitmo/


Esperanza Spalding song, video call for Gitmo closure

Esperanza Spalding – We Are America from ESP Media on Vimeo.


 

November 15, 2013

IN THE CAMPS

Guantánamo’s forever captives to make pitch for freedom in secret

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is pushing to overcome obstacles to closing the Guantanamo Bay prison, setting the White House on a collision course with Congress in its bid to loosen restrictions for moving out detainees.

Administration officials say a Senate defense policy bill coming up for debate within days would allow them to move out prisoners who have long been cleared for transfer overseas but are still held, in part because of a complicated Pentagon certification process. The bill would ease those restrictions and lift a ban on bringing suspected terrorist prisoners from Guantanamo to the United States for detention, trial or emergency medical treatment.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/11/15/3755883/guantanamos-forever-captives-to.html#storylink=cpy


November 11, 2013  –  A doctor writes about the constitution, bill of rights and Int’l law as relates to torture and physicians complicity

Ending the Guantanamo Nightmare  (from Counterpunch)

Does the US Care About International Law?

by DR. CESAR CHELALA

A report entitled “Ethics Abandoned: Medical Professionalism and Detainee Abuse on the War on Terror,” by the Task Force on Preserving Medical Professionalism in National Security Detention Centers states that after 9/11, health professionals working with the military and intelligence services “designed and participated in cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment and torture of detainees.” This new report confirms the findings of the report of the Task Force on Detainee Treatment, written by the members of the Constitution Project, a non partisan research and advocacy group in Washington, D.C.   more…

Better Uses for Gitmo $$$ — ACLU Infographic  (from Huffington Post)

Monday, November 11,  is Veterans Day, a holiday dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of those who have helped defend their nation. Along with paying respect, there is a larger promise we are expected to keep: To heal and to help the veterans who have put their lives on the line. It’s become increasingly clear that this is a complicated and difficult task that often goes unfulfilled. Below, the ACLU has calculated how President Barack Obama and Congress could boost veteran’s causes by channeling their energy toward another failed promise: Closing Guantanamo Bay.

 


November 9, 2013

Amid Lingering Hunger Strike, Guantanamo Abuses Press On

Saturday, 09 November 2013 00:55By Adam HudsonTruthout | News

A guard tower overlooks the prison at Camp Delta in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Photo: Richard Perry / The New York Times)

A guard tower overlooks the prison at Camp Delta in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Photo: Richard Perry / The New York Times)

During the summer, the Guantanamo hunger strike and use of force-feeding put the US naval base in Cuba back into headlines. The strike even prompted President Barack Obama to reiterate his promise to close the prison. However, an official “end” to the hunger strike last month, coupled with the government shutdown and fiscal fights in Congress, made Guantanamo virtually invisible from public attention as it was before. Despite lax attention, the system that made Guantanamo so odious continues.

Read more: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/19846-amid-lingering-hunger-strike-guantanamo-abuses-press-on


 

 

November 7, 2013

‘Australian Taliban’ contests Guantánamo guilty plea

So-called Australian Taliban David Hicks arrived at Guantanamo on Jan. 11, 2002 and pleaded guilty to war crimes five years later. On Tuesday Nov. 5, 2013, his American lawyers asked to get that conviction vacated on grounds it wasn’t voluntary and it wasn’t legal. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE / SHANE MCCOY Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/11/05/3732999/australian-taliban-contests-guantanamo.html#storylink=cpy

So-called Australian Taliban David Hicks arrived at Guantanamo on Jan. 11, 2002 and pleaded guilty to war crimes five years later. On Tuesday Nov. 5, 2013, his American lawyers asked to get that conviction vacated on grounds it wasn’t voluntary and it wasn’t legal. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE / SHANE MCCOY
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/11/05/3732999/australian-taliban-contests-guantanamo.html#storylink=cpy

BY CAROL ROSENBERG

CROSENBERG@MIAMIHERALD.COM

Former “Australian Taliban” David Hicks, the first man to be convicted of war crimes at Guantánamo, asked the military commissions appeals court to overturn his conviction on Tuesday, arguing he pleaded guilty to a terror charge as the desperate act of a tortured, suicidal captive at the prison camps in Cuba.


 

November 4, 2013

Obama Meets With Envoys on Closing Guantanamo Bay

WASHINGTON November 5, 2013 (AP)

The White House says President Barack Obama has met with two special envoys for closing the Guantanamo Bay prison and recommitted to closing it.

Obama met Monday with State Department envoy Clifford Sloan and Pentagon envoy Paul Lewis. It’s the first meeting between Obama and the envoys.

Obama vowed to close the prison but has been thwarted by Congress. He announced in May he would appoint envoys and ordered the Pentagon to designate a site in the U.S. where detainee trials could be held.

The White House says the administration will keep transferring detainees who are cleared to go to other countries. Obama wants Congress to remove restrictions on transfers.

There are 164 prisoners at Guantanamo. A formal review process for dozens held without charges is under way.

Source: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/obama-meets-envoys-closing-guantanamo-bay-20782958


November 2, 2013

According to Shaker Aamer’s lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, the voice Leslie Stahl heard coming from a cell was Shaker. Apparently, Stahl is also a journalist who has been living underneath a rock. States she assumed all the men in the prison are guilty.


 

November 1, 2013

A group of young artists and lawyers for The Blue Lantern Group mic checked The Metropolitan Museum, and dropped a banner inside.There are currently 164 men, 84 that are cleared for release and 14 men entering the 9th month of a hunger strike, all of whom are being force-fed.


 

October 21, 2013: Where are Obama’s Policy Changes? (from KFGO news)

“GTMO has become a symbol around the world for an America that flouts the rule of law,” the president said in May. Transferring the remaining 84 detainees already cleared by government officials is a step Obama can take quickly to demonstrate he’s committed to restoring America’s reputation as a nation committed to the rule of law. Even with the transfer restrictions set by Congress, the president has sufficient authority to ensure that at least this group of prisoners leaves Guantanamo soon.    more


2013_07_01_PUB_Lewis_Peake_Gtmo_force-feeding_pdf_240x360_q85Pack the Court!  Washington, DC - 

Friday 9 a.m., October 18, 2013

 11am “Forced-Feeding” by US Activist on long-term fast in Solidarity with Gitmo Hunger Strike  

Watch the live stream archives here: www.closegitmo.net/livestream

For press coverage of the even please go here: Witness Against Torture Tumblr


  Forced-Feeding Protests: White House - Sept. 6CDCR, Oakland, CA - Sept. 25  – US Embassies: Uruguay - Oct 4; Argentina - Oct8; Chile - Oct 15          Federal Court Hearing on Gitmo Force-Feeding, Washington, DC  - Oct 18


October 25, 2013


 

Judges weigh challenge to Guantanamo force-feeding

AP|2:20 p.m. EDT October 18, 2013

(Photo: Brennan Linsley, AP)

(Photo: Brennan Linsley, AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — An appeals court panel Friday wrestled with a challenge to force-feeding hunger strikers at Guantanamo Bay, with a lawyer for the detainees acknowledging he was seeking a ruling “that may lead to death.”

But the attorney, Jon Eisenberg, told the three judges hearing the case that the authorities at the Naval base in Cuba are force-feeding detainees before their lives are at risk.

Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/10/18/force-feeding-gitmo-detainees/3009163/


 

October 17, 2013

The Aamer Appeal to stop force-feeding in Guantanamo

OEN  OpEdNews.com By  (about the author)

Shaker Aamer, who has never been charged or faced trial, alleges that he has been subjected to torture. Photograph: Reprieve

Shaker Aamer, subjected to ongoing torture, has never been charged or faced trial. Photograph: Reprieve

Oct. 17, 2013 — Lawyers for   Shaker Aamer ,  the last British resident in Guantanamo Bay have filed an appeal in the case of   Shaker Aamer vs. Barack Obama,  a case that was first filed in June 2013 to halt the force-feedings of hunger strikers Aamer, Ahmed Belbacha, and Nabil Hadjarab. This is one of four consolidated appeals, one for each of four detainees, with Aamer’s being the lead case, which, if won, could end all force-feeding in the prison, a rare victory in the twelve years that Shaker Aamer has already lost.   Shaker Aamer is one of 164 detainees currently in Guantanamo Bay, and one of 84 detainees cleared for release. He has been cleared since 2007 by a military review board and again by President Obama’s inter-agency Guantanamo Review Task Force in 2010.

Original Case

In the Kessler case involving detainee Dhiab, US District Judge Gladys Kessler rejected the attempt by detainees to end force-feeding, but stated in an order that the practice is ”painful, humiliating, and degrading.” She declared that President Obama is “the one individual who does have the authority to address the issue.” It has been more than four months

Nabil Hadjarab

Nabil Hadjarab

since President Obama’s national security speech, in which he recommitted the United States in closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay.  Nabil Hadjarab has been released to Algeria since the original case filing in July, therefore removing his name from the case.

“Although District Judge Kessler took the position that the only person who can stop the force-feeding is President Obama, we believe that the federal courts also have the power to do so, which is why we have taken the case to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals,” states Jon B. Eisenberg, a lead attorney in the case. The hearing, which has been named the “Aamer Appeal,” will hear oral argument on October 18, 2013 at the D.C. Circuit courthouse.
Legal Team for Shaker Aamer Will Argue
The lawsuit alleges two human rights violations at Guantanamo Bay: (1) force-feeding of hunger-striking detainees in order to prolong their indefinite detention and (2) deprivation of religious free exercise by denying hunger-strikers the right to pray in congregation.
Force-feeding is in violation of international law and medical ethics. The World Medical Association American Medical Association The British Medical Association, and Pre-hospital and Disaster Medicine  are among some of the medical associations who identify force-feeding as inhumane, degrading, and torture. Numerous doctors all urge the licenses of health professionals who participate in force-feeding be revoked.
All hunger strikers were forced into solitary confinement in April 2013. In order for a detainee to be taken off the hunger strikers’ list he would need to consume nine consecutive meals. Once taken off the hunger strike they were permitted into communal living. The detainees were deprived of performing nightly communal Ramadan prayers unless they stopped hunger striking, a direct violation of the  Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
The Government Contends
Attorneys for the The United States contends in a brief filed under  USCA Case #13-5223  “As non-resident aliens, they do not fall within the category of “persons” protected by RFRA.” Spanning over sixty-one pages, the United States continues to argue that “habeas may not be used,” “claim is moot,” and “the courts lack jurisdiction,” –all  phrases pointing towards a legal black hole.
Meanwhile, corporations are recognized as persons in the judicial system. Under corporate personhood, for-profit corporations are given the same rights as human beings.  This allows corporations to sue and be sued in a court in the same way as natural persons are.  As Mitt Romney infamously said during the 2012 presidential election, “Corporations are people, my friend.”  The court also expresses fear of lawsuit in the case of a death during the hunger strike, if the force-feedings are to be put on halt — a contradiction  as the Government has suggested laws do not apply to detainees.
Another dispute the Government is upholding in the dissension is that the forced-feedings are humane. ” If enteral feeding is necessary, it is administered in a humane manner through a nasogastric tube.”…”Nothing about the process described above constitutes “torture” or “cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment.” The  Government ‘s assertions are in conflict with one detainee’s confession ”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,”  said Samir Moqbel in a New York Times Op-Ed.
Andres Thomas Conteris, a solidarity hunger striker for CloseGitmo.net has voluntarily undergone the nasogastric procedure. He has gone more than 100 days on liquids-only. Under a physician’s care, it was recommended Conteris receive some sort of nutrition. He plans to continue his act of solidarity as long as the men in Guantanamo are protesting. He began a solidarity hunger strike on Ramadan, the same day the prisoners at Pelican Bay began theirs to meet 5 core demands. He describes the tube-feeding as “endless agony,” with each one being more excruciating than the last. He has undergone the procedure four times. The men in Guantanamo endure this torture twice a day.
We Wait
Shaker Aamer has lost 60 lbs after 252 days of the hunger strike and counting. Fifteen detainees are currently being force-fed. Aamer’s British wife and their four British-born children, reside in London, England –t he youngest, of which he has never met. Umm Johina Aamer gave birth to their son on February 14, 2002, the same day Aamer was airlifted to Guantanamo Bay from Bagram. Aamer’s oldest daughter, Johina, age fifteen, writes on July 28, 2013, “I’ve been told so many times that my Dad is returning. I can’t get my hopes up anymore, all I can do is wait.”

read more: http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Aamer-Appeal-to-stop-f-by-Palina-Prasasouk-Guantanamo-Naval-Base_Guantanamo-Prison_Laws_Ramadan-131017-405.html


October 16, 2013
 
October 15, 2013

Guantanamo inmate says hunger strike will continue

Oct. 15, 2013, Day 250 of Hunger Strike – Moath al-Alwi. Al-Alwi describes how he has been beaten by the riot squad and that no form of pressure is too cruel or petty for his captors.

The restraint chair used to force-feed detainees on hunger strike is seen at the detainee hospital in Camp Delta which is part of the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The restraint chair used to force-feed detainees on hunger strike is seen at the detainee hospital in Camp Delta which is part of the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Although President Barack Obama has been promising to close past President George W Bush’s concentration camp at Guantanamo for years, this dark chapter in American history in dealing with Guantanamo continues. Al Jazeera has published a profile of Moath al-Alwi, who has been a prisoner at Guantanamo since 2002. He is quoted as saying, “I was never charged with any crime and I have not a received fair trial in U.S. courts. To protest this injustice, I began a hunger strike.” Al Jazeera reported on Oct. 15, 2013, “Guantanamo inmate: ‘We will remain on hunger strike.’”

Moath al-Alwi, a Yemeni national who has been in U.S. custody for over a decade, was one of the very first prisoners moved to Guantánamo Bay detention camp. The U.S. military has assigned him Internment Serial Number ISN 028. His attorney, Ramzi Kassem, translated this article from Arabic. In a letter al-Alwi shares his feelings after his return from a morning’s force-feeding session at Guantanamo Bay. He suffers bouts of violent vomiting and sharp pains in his stomach and intestines caused by the forced feeding.

Al-Alwi is among the fewer than two dozen hunger strikers left out of 164 prisoners at Guantanamo, of which 100 were on hunger strike in August. He has been on hunger strike for almost nine months, ever since February. He has shared that he is dragged out of his cell at around 8:20 a.m. and taken shackled to the restraint chairs, which he and his brothers call torture chairs, for forced feeding.

Al-Alwi says some of his brothers are tainting the walls of their cells and blocking the air-conditioning vents with their own feces in protest. Al-Alwi also says he has been beaten by the riot squad and that no form of pressure is too cruel or petty for his captors. And so the nightmare at Guantanamo continues at this moment.

Read more: http://www.examiner.com/article/guantanamo-inmate-says-hunger-strike-will-continue


News from Sept 26, 2013 to October 18, 2013










September 26, 2013
by Michael Keller and Jason Leopold | September 26, 2013
For the past seven months, detainees at Guantanamo Bay detention camp have been on hunger strike protesting, in part, their indefinite detention and alleged mistreatment. Although this action has been one of the most widely publicized, it’s certainly not the first. Hunger strikes started almost immediately after the camp was opened 11 years ago and have continued regularly since then. This timeline documents the evolving role of hunger strikes as a form of protest.

September 25, 2013
Photo from Lynn Mac Michael

Photo from Lynn Mac Michael


OMAR KHADR: WAR CRIMINAL, CHILD SOLDIER… OR NEITHER?

By Heather Marsh

 Omar Khadr's interrogation. via Flickr

Omar Khadr’s interrogation. via Flickr

Omar Khadr made his first appearance in a Canadian court on Monday. After an 11-year journey from Afghanistan to Guantánamo Bay to Canada’s Millhaven Institution, the Toronto-born man is now in Edmonton’s federal prison. He was 15 when he was captured and tortured at Bagram. He turned 27 last Thursday. Read more: http://www.vice.com/read/omar-khadr-war-criminal-child-soldier-or-neither


 Rules for (hunger-striking) radicals By Nadine Bloch

Andres Conteris publicly fed by nasogastric tube on the 61st day of his solidarity fast in front of the White House on September 6. (WNV/Nadine Bloch)

Andres Conteris publicly fed by nasogastric tube on the 61st day of his solidarity fast in front of the White House on September 6. (WNV/Nadine Bloch)

Over the past few months, an amazing number of people have been fasting or on hunger strike for peace and justice all over the world, earning relatively sparse media coverage, and winning few demands. But this current wave of hunger strikes has expanded the traditional approach to these tactics and offers a look at some new techniques — as well as challenges for those who are currently fasting or thinking about using their hunger as a path to justice. Read more: http://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/rules-hunger-striking-radicals/


Freed former Guantanamo inmate to arrive today

By Houda Mzioudet

Abdulhamid Abdussalam El Ghazzawi

Abdulhamid Abdussalam El Ghazzawi

Tripoli, 25 September 2013: A former Libyan Guantanamo Bay inmate has been released from prison in the US and is due to arrive at Tripoli International Airport this evening. Abdulhamid Abdussalam El Ghazzawi, aged 50 and said to be disabled, was kept at the controversial prison between 2002, when he was captured in Afghanistan, and 2010, when he was transferred to Georgia.  He was accused by the Americans of being a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and being linked to Al Qaeda, a claim which he has denied. Read more:  http://www.libyaherald.com/2013/09/25/freed-former-guantanamo-inmate-to-arrive-today/#ixzz2fyrHn1Pz


Guantanamo: System failure

You know something is wrong when defense lawyers have to hike to Starbucks to find Internet access they feel they can—relatively, anyway—trust. But that’s exactly what lawyers for the five men accused of plotting the September 11, 2001 attacks felt they had to do after widespread failures of the government computer network they’d been using resulted in thousands of private defense emails being handed over to the prosecution and entire files disappearing from defense team drives. That series of undeniable security breaches, they argued, made even a public Internet connection a better option than the government network. Read more: http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/09/25/guantanamo-system-failure/


Guantánamo detainee files complaint about UK security services

Shaker Aamer, who has never been charged or faced trial, alleges that he has been subjected to torture. Photograph: Reprieve

Shaker Aamer, who has never been charged or faced trial, alleges that he has been subjected to torture. Photograph: Reprieve

The last British resident detained in Guantánamo Bay has filed a complaint about the intelligence services with the UK’s most secret court. Lawyers for Shaker Aamer have lodged a detailed submission at the investigatory powers tribunal (IPT) in London, alleging that he is being prevented from being released due to “defamatory statements”. Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/25/guantanamo-detainee-complaint-uk-security-services?CMP=twt_gu


September 24, 2013 Pentagon Denies Money for Guantánamo Overhaul By 

The Obama administration has been trying to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, but Congress has prevented it from doing so.

The Obama administration has been trying to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, but Congress has prevented it from doing so.

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has rejected a military request that it spend $195.7 million to renovate the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, an official with the United States Southern Command said on Tuesday. The Obama administration has been trying to close the prison, but Congress has prevented it from doing so.


Pentagon: ‘No one believes Guantanamo hunger strike is over’

Former Guantanamo Bay detainees wear black hoods during a protest to demand the release of Yemeni detainees from Guantanamo Bay, outside the U.S. embassy in Sanaa April 16, 2013. (Reuters)

Former Guantanamo Bay detainees wear black hoods during a protest to demand the release of Yemeni detainees from Guantanamo Bay, outside the U.S. embassy in Sanaa April 16, 2013. (Reuters)

Eman El-Shenawi – Al Arabiya


The mass wave of prisoner hunger strikes at Guantanamo Bay cannot be considered over, a Pentagon spokesman said on Tuesday, following an outcry over media reports suggesting the protest had largely ended.The official statement to Al Arabiya English came after Guantanamo authorities on Monday saidthe number of hunger-striking prisoners had fallen in recent weeks, and that daily updates on detainees refusing food would no longer be issued. Read more: http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2013/09/24/Pentagon-No-one-believes-Guantanamo-hunger-strike-is-over-.html


Little Progress in the Four Months Since Obama’s Promise to Resume Releasing Cleared Prisoners from Guantánamo By Andy Worthington 252   Four months ago, on May 23, President Obama delivered a major speech on national security issues, in which he promised to resume releasing cleared prisoners from Guantánamo. At the time, of the remaining 166 prisoners, 86 had been cleared for release in January 2010 by an inter-agency task force of officials from the major government departments and the intelligence agencies, which the president had established shortly after taking office in January 2009. Read more: http://www.closeguantanamo.org/Articles/102-Little-Progress-in-the-Four-Months-Since-Obamas-Promise-to-Resume-Releasing-Cleared-Prisoners-from-Guantanamo#sthash.puFiHsYx.dpuf


September 23, 2013

Pentagon will no longer provide media updates on hunger strike according to Jason Leopold.

http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1rovc85


Witness Against Torture looking for October rolling fasters. Send e-mail to witnesstorture@gmail.com with which day you would like to fast.

Reflection shared from Katie Berrigan (granddaughter of Philip Berrigan)

tumblr_inline_mtipdzVExf1qzhij6

To change my normal routine by not eating was a strong reminder of the men imprisoned at Guantanamo, and the discomfort of 24 hours without food seemed incredibly small in comparison to what I know of their experiences. We read a recent opinion piece from Al-Jazeera talking about the long list of broken promises and crimes against humanity the U.S. government has racked up between Bagram prison and Guantanamo. Though it’s a small gesture on this end, it was also meaningful to me to read the list of prisoners’ names and hold each person in my thoughts for a little while.


A letter from Shaker Aamer shared from wife, Johina Aamer.

935972_362062033925558_1436576560_n

An old letter from Shaker Aamer to us. TAKE ACTION for Shaker Aamer and request a FULL parliamentary debate. Contact your MPs. Template provided here >http://www.saveshaker.org/write-to-your-mp-request-full-parliamentary-debate-for-shaker-aamer/464

You can send the email to your MP via http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/ Please remember to click the confirmation link you will receive in your inbox afterwards. Or send a handwritten letter.


Omar Khadr set to make first public appearance tomorrow during Edmonton court hearing

By:  National Security Reporter, Published on Sun Sep 22 2013

omar_khadr.jpg.size.xxlarge.promo

EDMONTON—Former Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr is expected to make his first public appearance in Canada Monday morning, transferred amid tight security to an Edmonton courthouse where his lawyer will argue he is being held illegally as an adult. Read more: http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2013/09/22/omar_khadr_set_to_make_first_public_appearance_tomorrow_during_edmonton_court_hearing.html


National opinion: Moving prisoners from Cuba is the best chance for justice

U.S. military guards walk within the Camp Delta military-run prison, at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba in 2006. / AP file photo

U.S. military guards walk within the Camp Delta military-run prison, at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba in 2006. / AP file photo

With Congress back in session, Montana Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester will soon consider whether to adopt new provisions in a defense-spending bill allowing Guantanamo Bay detainees to be transferred to the U.S. for trial by federal courts. After years of passing restrictions on such transfers, these new provisions, proposed as part of the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), are the first sign of any significant movement in Congress toward bringing the deeply flawed military commissions system at Guantanamo to an end. Read more: http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20130922/OPINION/309220024/National-opinion-Moving-prisoners-from-Cuba-best-chance-justice


September 20, 2013

Guantanamo hearing ends without ruling on ‘Starbucks solution’

By Jane Sutton GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba | Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:38pm EDT (Reuters) – The judge in the Guantanamo war crimes tribunal recessed a weeklong hearing in the September 11 conspiracy case on Friday evening without ruling on a defense request to halt future hearings until Pentagon computer problems are fixed. The judge, Army Colonel James Pohl, said he would issue a decision “in due course.” The next pretrial hearing in the death penalty case against five suspected al Qaeda conspirators is scheduled to start on October 22 at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/21/us-usa-guantanamo-idUSBRE98K00T20130921


 

September 18, 2013

Pentagon defense counsel: Guantánamo tech woes are worse

Miami Herald, Posted on Wednesday, 09.18.13 — By CAROL ROSENBERG  crosenberg@miamiherald.com

U.S. Army military judge Col. James L. Pohl, shown in this July 7, 2005 file photo at Fort Hood, Texas, is the chief of the Guantanamo military commissions judiciary. LM OTERO / ASSOCIATED PRESS Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/09/10/3618700/guantanamo-judge-makes-secret.html#storylink=cpy

US Army military judge Col. James L. Pohl, July 7, 2005 file photo, Fort Hood, TX. Currently, Chief of the Guantanamo military commissions judiciary. LM OTERO /ASSOCIATED PRESS

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba — Chronic problems of Pentagon computer network insecurity have gotten worse in the five months since the military commissions chief defense counsel declared the system too compromised for Sept. 11 trial preparations, the counsel testified Wednesday. Emails don’t arrive, legal motions have been stripped off electronic notices and case work that vanished has yet to be found, Col. Karen Mayberry testified in a defense bid to freeze the death-penalty proceedings until the Pentagon builds a separate, secure system for the war crimes court’s defense lawyers. In an act of exceptional defiance in April, Mayberry, a career Air Force lawyer, directed her defense teams to keep their confidential work off the war court network. Wednesday, she testified that, after fresh failures in an email migration, it’s currently better for defense teams in the complex death-penalty case to use their home computers, private emails and coffee shop WiFi to conduct their business. “We’ve got more issues now than we did then and we’ve resolved very little of the ones that existed at the time,” Mayberry said.


Ex-Guantánamo detainee dies fighting Assad in Syria Miami Herald, Posted on Wednesday, 09.18.13 — By CAROL ROSENBERG  crosenberg@miamiherald.com

A rebel leader, Sheik Abu Ahmad al Muhajir, eulogizing the man as Mohammed al Alami, a Northern African a veteran of the jihad in Afghanistan who “who went through hardship for the sake of God in the prison of the Americans in Guantánamo for five years.” Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/09/17/3633584/ex-guantanamo-detainee-dies-fighting.html#storylink=cpy

A rebel leader, Sheik Abu Ahmad al Muhajir, eulogizing the man as Mohammed al Alami, a Northern African a veteran of the jihad in Afghanistan who “who went through hardship for the sake of God in the prison of the Americans in Guantánamo for five years.”

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba – An Islamic opposition group in Syria has posted a video of the funeral of a former Guantánamo prisoner, the first known report that one of the 500 or so captives released during the Bush administration joined the Syrian insurgency to topple Bashar Assad.

The Syrian Islamic Movement posted the video Monday on YouTube. It shows the body of a fallen fighter in his 30s or 40s and a rebel leader, Sheik Abu Ahmad al Muhajir, eulogizing the man as Mohammed al Alami, a Northwest African veteran of the jihad in Afghanistan “who went through hardship for the sake of God in the prison of the Americans in Guantánamo for five years.”

September 16, 2013

No One Reads Kafka in Gitmo

Passing Time in the World’s Most Notorious Prison

Molly Crabapple Artist, VICE columnist. Writing memoir, DRAWING BLOOD, for Harper Collins. Words for Paris Review, Daily Beast, CNN, The Guardian. www.mollycrabapple.com

Molly Crabapple noncompliantSeptember 16, 2013 – A Jamaican love song plays at Guantanamo Bay’s tiki bar. The woman cries that she will wait for her man forever. I drink my beer and think of Zin, the wife of British detainee Shaker Aamer. It’s been eleven years since the Northern Alliance arrested Shaker. Though not charged with any crime, he sits in a solitary cell a few miles from the tiki bar. Zin Aamer is still waiting.

Guantanamo Bay is where people wait. A faded relic of The War on Terror, four of its eight camps stand empty for lack of prisoners. Called “contrary to who we are” by President Obama, it costs nearly 2 million dollars per detainee per year to operate. Of the 779 men who have passed through, only 7 have been convicted of crimes. 164 remain. According to the chief prosecutor, 144 will never be charged at all.

Ringed with razor-wire, Guantanamo practices a security culture so rigorous that when a journalist accidentally left an iPod in his bag, our press escort worried that the guards who confiscated it would have to smash it with a hammer. Guards peer at each detainee through cell cams every three minutes. Detainees are moved between camps in shackles and sometimes on backboards, something a guard told me was for “their safety” but could not explain how. Their genitals are searched before and after they use the phone.Molly Crabapple Ferry Leeward

But for all the security theater, on press tours, Guantanamo feels like a dollhouse without the dolls. Detainees are conspicuous in their absence. Military police walk me through kitchens, a hospital, and show-cells. Cooks prepare six sample meals (including garlic chicken) just for me to taste. Medics lecture next to the restraint chair they use for force-feedings. In empty cells, guards arrange neat rows of “comfort items” (Koran, toothbrush, soap, comb, prayer cap, Rubbermaid bin for likely-futile legal papers) representing the detainees’ only possessions.

Guantanamo is the world’s most notorious prison, but we see the detainees’ lives as if through dark water. To know them, we have a fewleaked assessments, a few administrative review board transcripts — some tribunal president telling a British prisoner “I don’t care about international law.” The rest sinks into classification. In Gitmo, even the library stamps are secret.

Read more: https://medium.com/the-nib/6076fd7f2500


Protesting 9/11 defendants, sick defense attorney shut down Guantánamo hearing

Miami Herald – Posted Monday, 09.16.13 By CAROL ROSENBERG   crosenberg@miamiherald.com

pentagon on fire 9 11

Helicopter flies over the Pentagon in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001 as smoke billows over the building. HEESOON YIM / ASSOCIATED PRESS

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba — The judge in the Sept. 11 case shouted down two alleged conspirators protesting their lack of rights, ejected one from the war court and then hastily recessed Monday morning to get a sick defense lawyer to the Navy base hospital. “I have a right to talk,” Yemeni defendant Ramzi bin al Shibh shouted at the judge, Army Col. James Pohl. “No you don’t,” the judge shouted back, trying to silence him before ordering U.S. Army guards to remove him from the Top Secret court.

Bin al Shibh, 41, was on his feet, unshackled, shouting at the judge and attired in a desert camouflage jacket atop a traditional white robe when two soldiers pinned his arms behind his back and hustled him out of court

Moments before, the alleged 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, 48, appeared to be reading an Arabic-language protest of military obstacles to meeting with his lawyers. The judge shut him down with a ruling that Mohammed lost the right to voluntarily absent himself from this week’s pretrial hearing by not answering his questions.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/09/16/3630135/judge-to-weigh-whether-911-case.html#storylink=cpy

September 13, 2013

Truth-Out, Thursday, 12 September 2013 — Palina PrasasoukCloseGitmo.net | Op-Ed

Left: Andres Conteris, August 8th, 2013 Right: September 6th, 2013 water-only fast 61 days, 52 lbs lost (25% of body mass)

Left: Andres Conteris, Aug. 8th, 2013 Right: Sept. 6th, 2013 water-only fast 61 days, 52 lbs lost (25% of body mass)

On Friday, September 6, 2013 dozens witnessed in front of the White House, a live force-feed of 52-year-old Andres  C onteris on his 61st day of a water-only hunger strike. Thousands more would watch from home via livestream,   RT and Huffington Post. Conteris began a hunger strike on July 8, 2013 in solidarity with Guantánamo B ay  and the California prison, Pelican Bay. Among the dozens of witnesses was a crowd of international press covering the event. American press was absent with the exception of Ryan J. Reilly, a justice reporter for The Huffington Post who earlier this spring, traveled to Guantánamo.

Read more: http://truth-out.org/speakout/item/18788-keeping-guantanamo-on-american-minds


September 12, 2013

OpEdNews.com – Don’t Forget the Prisoners in Guantanamo and Those in Solidarity with Them

 (author of Voices of Conscience) Dissent:Voices of Conscience (video) 

September 12, 2013 - While Syria dominates the news now, let’s not forget about the prisoners in the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Prison. Two prisoners were released from the military prison in Guantanamo, Cuba, without fanfare on August 28, the first releases since the Obama administration freed two Muslims of Uighur ethnicity and sent them to live in El Salvador on April 2012. On Sept 29, 2012, Canadian Omar Khadr was sent to his home nation of Canada to complete a seven-year prison sentence after his conviction by the military commission of while as a 15 year old, shooting at American soldiers as they attacked the compound of family members in Afghanistan.

Photo_de_Nabil_en_2000_1

Nabil Hadjarab

On August 28, Nabil Hadjarab and Mutia Sadiq Ahmad Sayyab, both Algerian citizens, were released from Guantanamo and transported to Algeria.  Hadjarab, now 34, was captured in Afghanistan on suspicion of being a low-level al-Qaida fighter. He was sent to Guantanamo in February 2002. He had been eligible for release since 2006 and took part in hunger strikes at Guantanamo because of his continued imprisonment.

Sayyab, now 37, who had worked as a chef in France and Syria, was arrested in Pakistan as a part of the U.S. bounty program in which hundreds of foreigners were sold to the U.S. after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. Sayyab also was cleared for release years earlier but, due to congressional restrictions on transfers, had to remain at Guantanamo. Sayyab also had joined in hunger strikes at the prison to call attention to the prisoners’ indefinite detention.

There are 164 prisoners who still remain at Guantanamo; 84 have been cleared for release but still remain locked up.

September 5, 2013, marked day 209 of the hunger strike by prisoners at Guantanamo. 34 prisoners continue on the hunger strike and 31 are being force-fed through tubes in the nose to the stomach. Two months ago, 106 prisoners were on a hunger strike, 46 were being force fed and 3 prisoners were hospitalized.

Solidarity Actions

Solidarity actions for the prisoners have taken place around the world citing indefinite detention without trial, no release for years after prisoners are cleared for release and painful forced nasal-gastric feeding tubes shoved up the nose of prisoners on long-term hunger strikers and dangerously pushed down into their stomachs.

Weekly vigils take place around the United States. In Washington, DC, each Friday Witness Against Torture holds a vigil in front of the White House.

http://youtu.be/35VYODjyykU Video: Willy Cortes, teleSUR

On June 26, a large national mobilization at the White House ended with 21 people arrested for refusing to move from in front of the President’s residence. One protester, Diane Wilson, climbed the White House fence and attempted to sit on the fence, but fell into the White House grounds.

Wilson had been on a water-only hunger strike for 58 days. She was arrested and tried on September 6 for unlawful entry. She was found guilty of unlawful entry on September 6 and sentenced to 90 days in jail, but the sentence was suspended.

cynthia p day 29 hunger strike

Cynthia Papermaster, July 13, 2013 on hunger strike day 29

Several other international activists have been on long term solidarity hunger strikes.  Cynthia Papermeister of Berkeley, California ended her 82-day, 300-calorie-per-day liquid hunger strike, on September 6 with the release of the Algerian prisoners.  Elliot Adams of Sharon, New York, was on a 300-calorie hunger fast for 80 days from May 18 to August 4, 2013.

Tarak Kauff of Woodstock, New York, was on a 300-calorie hunger fast for 58 days from June 7 through August 4, 2013.  Brian Willson of Portland, Oregon, suspended his hunger strike on June 10 after 31 days on a 300-calorie-per-day strike due to being accidentally hit by a car.

http://youtu.be/dhoHWSL9NdE video – by Eddie Becker

Activist undergoes Nasogastric tube Feeding in Solidarity with Guantanamo Hunger Strikers

On September 6, Andres Conteris, who has been on a water-only hunger strike for 60 days, was voluntarily force fed with a nasal-gastric tube Guantanamo-Force-Feeding graphicin front of the White House to demonstrate the painfulness of what 32 prisoners at Guantanamo are subjected to on a daily basis by US military medical personnel. Conteris said the forced feeding was “excruciatingly painful.”  He said that he could not imagine how the Guantanamo prisoners who have been force fed for months can possibly stand the procedures as their nostrils and throats are swollen from constant pushing of the tubes down through the nose, throat and stomach.

Videos and photos of Sept. 6 White House feeding action

Hundreds of others throughout the world are on shorter solidarity hunger strikes.

Read more: http://www.opednews.com/populum/pagem.php?f=Don-t-Forget-the-Prisoners-by-Ann-Wright-Activists_Guantanamo-Prison_Prisoners_Solidarity-130912-236.html


 


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GTMO has been open:

U.S. Hunger Strikers

Hunger Striker's Blog



 U.S. Faster in Solidarity w/Gitmo & Pelican Bay Prisoners


NGTubeBeforeMeFlagBehindMeAgonyAwaits

Foreground: EMT prepares the tool for the nasal intubation.       Background: U.S. Embassy, Buenos Aires, Argentina Middleground:...agony awaits. 


The feeding demo is extremely painful, yet it is done with consent. The long-term solidarity fast continues with nasogastric nourishment in front of U.S. governmental symbols of power. The twice-daily force-feeding of Gitmo hunger strikers is nonconsensual and therefore real torture by the standards sponsored by U.S. taxpayers and authorized by members of Congress who just raised the debt ceiling to nearly $17 trillion. President Obama's actions continue to belie his empty words "Close Guantánamo."  As Commander-in-Chief, he could easily order an end to what the Pentagon refuses to call "forced-feeding."   The force-feeding is premeditated  relentless forced penetration of plastic into their innermost sacred cavities !


Andrés Thomas Conteris - fasted on water and coconut water with vitamin and electrolyte supplements. Solidarity fast began July 8, 2013 with 30,000 hunger striking California prisoners urging fulfillment of 5 Core Demands of the Pelican Bay supermax prisoners.  Force-feeding protests began Sept. 6 & Sept. 25 in front of the White House & later in front of the Oakland Office of CA Dept of Corrections and Rehab (CDCR) to depict how prisoners in Guantánamo are tortured with force-feeding twice-daily and how CA prisoners as future hunger strikers have been threatened with a court order authorizing force-feeding.  On Oct 4 and Oct 8 he was tube-fed in front of the U.S. Embassies in Montevideo, Uruguay and Buenos Aires, Argentina. On Oct 15 a similar protest took place in Santiago, Chile.  On Friday, Oct 18 the feeding protest returns to Washington, DC outside a Federal Court hearing on the lawsuit challenging force-feeding in Guantánamo.  He is now on a maintenance fast losing about 1 pound per week, unlike the 5 pounds/week the first 11 weeks.  In January 2014 with the anniversary of Guantánamo on Jan. 11, the force feeding protests will recommence.  Please spread the word. 


Join a Rolling Fast


U.S. Hunger Strikers who have suspended their fast


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Diane Wilson - Water only 58 days (lost 48 lbs). Diane, co-founder of CodePink and member of Veterans for Peace, suspended her hunger strike on June 27, 2013 after detention following her arrest for scaling the White House fence the day before. She faced a jury trial in DC District Court on Sept. 5th, 2013.


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S. Brian Willson - Suspended Hunger Strike on June 10, 2013 after 31 days on 300cal/day, when a car accidentally hit him. Supporters continue a vigil with a rolling fast, in Portland, OR.

 

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Elliott Adams - Went 80 days on 300 cal/day from May 18, to August 4, 2013 losing 45 lbs.   He is past President of Veterans for Peace.

 


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Tarak Kauff - Ended fast on August 4, 2013 after 58 days on 300 cal/day since June 7.  He lost 29 lbs. On Board of Directors for Veterans for Peace.


CynthiaP-on-Bike

Cynthia Papermaster - After 84 days on 300 cal/day, Cynthia suspended her  hunger strike on Sep. 6 which began June 15, 2013. Code Pink member,  lost 35 lbs. The transfer of two Algerian prisoners on Aug. 29, 2013, inspired her to suspend her fast. 



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