CNN Update: Shaker Aamer on the Guantanamo Hunger Strike

CNN Update: Shaker Aamer on the Guantanamo Hunger Strike

A CNN video report uncovers the latest insight into the Hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay. The report features testimony from Shaker Aamer, the last British resident to remain at Guantanamo despite never being charged for any alleged crime, and having twice been cleared for release in the past.

Shaker Aamer describes how inmates at Guantanamo (himself included) feel it is necessary to continue the on going Hunger strike which is now approaching four months,  in an attempt to finally secure the closure of Guantanamo.

The CNN video also describes the suffering that Shaker Aamer has experienced from being force fed, and explains the just cause for hunger striking when life inside Guantanamo is so intolerable that prisoners see no other option but to remain on hunger strike.

“I do not want to be force fed, I don’t want to die either, but this is a living death here in Guantanamo, so if I have to risk death for principle, this is what I want to do.”  – Shaker Aamer

The video also features Moazzam Begg, Former Guantanamo inmates and now a worker for an advocacy group Cage Prisoners. His appearance in the video places further pressure on the US Government to get Guantanamo closed down, remarking on the poor treatment of the inmates:

“They don’t get clean drinking water. They are getting stripped searched constantly. Sprayed in the face with pepper spray. Rubber bullets. All of that is true. But that’s not why they are doing this. They are doing this because there is no hope.” – Moazzam Begg

Meanwhile a speech by President Obama has questioned the US Military in their response  that “forced feeding is being continued so that inmates are kept alive”. Obama says “Is this the America we want to leave our children”

It appears therefore that the 103 prisoners on Hunger strike will not give up their quest to secure the closure of Guantanamo, while the US Military will continue to force fed them. For Shaker Aamer – prisoner 239, there is a strong determination to return home to his family after eleven years in Guantanamo. Shaker furthermore, shares his confidence for the hunger strike to be a success:

“This place is going to close sooner or later”… Don’t wait for too much longer or there is going to be dead people down here, and that’s not good for anyone.”

“I have been called 239 for so long, I fear my children my have to call me by a number for a while.” – Shaker Aamer

A Q&A with Shaker Aamer can also be viewed on the CNN page, along with related clips, and related headlines.

 

Order Spectacle’s DVDs  Shaker Aamer: a decade of injustice ( New Version) and  Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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Frankie Boyle on Hunger Strike over Guantanamo

Frankie Boyle on Hunger Strike Over Guantanamo

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Last week comedian Frankie Boyle went on hunger strike in support of the 103 prisoners that are on a hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay.

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Image sourced from www.list.co.uk

Frankie Boyle has now joined forces with Clive Stafford Smith; a lawyer who went on Hunger strike recently in support of his client Shaker Aamer, the only British resident to remain held at Gutananamo. It has now been over a week since Clive Stafford Smith began his hunger strike.

The Stand Fast for Injustice Campaign is run by a group called Reprive. This campaign encourages the idea of hunger striking to rally support for the prisoners held in Guantanamo who continue to be force fed by the guards to keep them alive.

As a supporter of Reprive, Frankie Boyle donated the £54,650 that he was granted following a Daily Mail lawsuit last December. It has now been reported that this week, the actress Julie Christie has this week done the same thing in an effort to further promote the injustice of Shaker Aamer’s imprisonment.

Follow what Frankie Boyle said about his hunger strike so far on his Twitter page. There is also lots more information about Clive Stafford Smith’s hunger strike on the Save Shakar Aamer campaign, as well as other related articles and an online petition.

Order Spectacle’s DVDs  Shaker Aamer: a decade of injustice ( New Version) and  Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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Visit the British comedy guide for further new stories and features.

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Forced Feeding is Apparently “Not Uncomfortable” for Detainees

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The Hunger strike at Guantánamo has now been going on for more then 130 days. According to official figures, 103 of the detainees are now on hunger strike, and the number of detainees being forced fed remains at 30.

Reporters were allowed into the camp on what was believed to be a well choreographed and scripted guided tour. The reporters were allowed to see the force feeding equipment and were told how the medical team used this equipment upon the detainees. According to the doctors and the nurses, no prisoners had complained about this brutal force feeding procedure.

The guards at Guantánamo have been reported as being very patient with detainees. While certain detainees have been accused of throwing feces and urine at guards. This only re-reinforces the guards strategy of not negotiating with detainees, and instead subjecting them to procedures such as force feeding.

Meanwhile, Al Jazeera obtained documents that explained the force feeding procedure which could last up to two hours. These documents described how time was a significant factor in ensuring the success of the force feeding procedure.

The tour showed prisoners mouths being covered with a mask while a tube (at least 61cms long) would be snaked down their nose until an x-ray or test dose of water confirmed the tube to be in the stomach of a prisoner. After being force fed, a prisoner would be kept in a dry cell without any water to ensure they did not vomit for 45-60 minutes. If the detainee was to vomit, this force feeding procedure would have to be repeated.

It was also reported that while this procedure was carried out detainees would be heavily drugged, hence their lack of complaints regarding the force feeding procedure. The identity of the detainees are being shared with the top officials at the Pentagon who apparently, do not care about violating medical ethics that force feeding concerns.

Order Spectacle’s DVDs  Shaker Aamer: a decade of injustice ( New Version) and  Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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The Amnesty Group at Lewes Priory demands the release of Shaker Aamer

The case of Saker Aamer, the last british resident in Guantanamo, has not only upset people close to him. The amnesty group at Lewes Priory School found the indefinite detention and torture of Shaker Aamer wrong and wanted to do something about it. They decided to start a petition at their school which almost all students signed.

After the petition was signed they got the opportunity to visit the House of Parliament to speak with Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt about the release of Shaker Aamer.

Order Spectacle’s DVDs  Shaker Aamer: a decade of injustice ( New Version) and  Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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Is the UK really trying to bring Shaker Aamer home?

shaker postcard z 2011

The situation in Guantanamo is now getting worse. Prisoners claims that they are now being held in solitary confinement and are treated like dogs. They continue their hunger strike and 23 prisoners are being forced fed in a  room where they are being strapped down in a chair while a tube is being forced down their nose. This despite the AMA’s, American Medical Association, criticism of force feeding, saying it is horrible and violates core ethical values of the medical profession. Four prisoners are so weak that they are being shackled in the hospital to prevent them from dying.

Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantanamo, fears that he might die in the prison. He hopes he does not, he hopes he will be released before that so he is able to hug his children. A wish that seems will not come true in the near future.

According to the Pentagon, the UK is in no rush to get Shaker Aamer out of Guantanamo. This despite the Parliamentary debate about Shaker Aamer’s release and claims made by foreign secretary William Hague and defense secretary Philip Hammond that they are trying to lobby their counterparts in the US over Shaker Aamer.

At the same time it seems that UK might not meet up with those “conditions”  US have for releasing a prisoner to the country. These claims are being dismissed by Shaker Aamer’s UK lawyer Clive Stafford Smith who says that UK has the best record of taking care of released prisoners.

It seems like there are a lot of excuses to not release Shaker Aamer to the UK, and it also seems like it is getting more and more urgent to get him out of the prison. The question is is it only the US who is the problem or does the UK government have an interest in ensuring a key witness to Government collusion in torture never gets freedom, justice and his day in court.

Order Spectacle’s DVDs  Shaker Aamer: a decade of injustice ( New Version) and  Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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Or visit our Guantánamo project  and Shaker Aamer project pages for more information and videos.

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Obama finally speaks about Guantanamo

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Due to the growing hunger strike at Guantanamo President Obama has now been forced to react. In a recent press conference Obama admitted that the prison had to be closed. He also mentioned that he did not want the prisoners to die and that we had to reflect on why America is doing what they are doing.

Meanwhile the decision to send more doctors and nurses to Guantanamo are now being criticized by AMA, American Medical Association, who claim that it “violates core ethical values of the medical profession”. But US officials seem to be more afraid of the bad publicity of a detainee dying than from torturing the prisoners by forced feeding.

With all of this attention on the prison and a renewed promise from Obama to close Guantanamo, let us all hope that the prison will be closed sooner rather and later.

If you are from the UK, keep on pressuring your MP’s to engage in debates regarding Shaker Aamer’s release. If you are from outside the UK, put pressure on your government to demand Obama close the prison forever and ensure that the prisoners get a new life.

Order Spectacle’s DVDs  Shaker Aamer: a decade of injustice ( New Version) and  Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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Väljer de Svenska medierna att blunda för hungerstrejken i Guantanamo?

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De senaste 11 åren har flera har hundratals människor hållits fånga på militärbasen Guanatanamo Bay. De flesta har släppts, men trots Obamas löfte under sin valkampanj att stänga Guantanamo inom ett år, sitter fortfarande 166 personer fångna. 86 utav dessa har blivit frikända, men har ändå inte fått tillåtelse att lämna fängelset.

Trots uppmärksamheten som riktats mot fängelset på grund av missförhålllanden och tortyr, pågår denna behandling utav fångar än idag. Även emot de som har blivit frikända. Det pågår fortfarande FCE (forcible cell extraction) där fångarna utan anledning bärs på ett smärtsamt sätt och med våld ut ur sina celler. Något som även har förekommit under fångarnas bönetider

Sedan början utav februari har det pågått en hungerstrejk i protest mot vakternas respektlöshet inför fångarnas religion. Inte nog med att de intagna har tvingats ut ur sina celler under bön, vakterna har även börjat visa respektlöshet mot koranen genom att bland annat söka igenom den med argumentet att “fångarna kan ha gömt mat, egengjorda vapen, medeciner etc. i dem”. Vad de glömde nämna är att för en troende muslim ses det som respektlöst att använda koranen som gömställe för saker.

Något jag finner väldigt intressant som svensk under denna period är bristen av artiklar i svenska tidningar om hungerstrejken. Fångarnas advokater hävdar att det är ca 130 stycken som deltar i hungerstrejken, men detta har inte gjort de svenska medierna mer intresserade.

Expressen skrev en väldigt kort artikel om hungerstrejen och nämnde endast att den existerade och att några fångar hostat blod, blivit inlagda, svimmat eller blivit svaga och matta. Svenska dagbladet nämner i sin artkiel endast att fångarna klagar på att det är kallt i cellen och att de inte får vatten. Även att rödakorset tidigare lagt ett besök.

Den enda svenska median jag kan hitta som nämner en hyffsat vettig information är P3, men de nämner ändast de siffror som kommer från de Amrikanska myndigheterna. Dock nämner det även att de egentliga siffrorna troligen är mörkade utav USA och att advokaterna till fångarna hävdar att det är fler som deltar.

Min fråga är bara varför? Varför har Sverige bestämt sig för att inte rapportera mer om en händelse som denna? Varför ska svenskarna inte få höra om de missförhållanden som sker mot helt oskyldiga människor? Är det inte viktigt att informera samhället vad som händer i världen_ Har Guantanamo funnits för länge för att media ska orka bry sig om vad som händer där_ Är det verkligen så svårt att genomföra research och skriva en vettig artikel om en sådan stor grej, som att nästan alla fångar på Guantanamo hungerstrejkar på grund utav att de lever ett sådant hemskt och meningslöst liv? Ett liv där inte ens deras religion blir respekterad?

Media har en stor makt i samhället, det får man alltid höra från alla håll och kanter. När svenska medier väljer att inte skriva om en sådan här sak blir jag arg och besviken att jag är svensk. Istället för att upplysa folk och uppmuntra dem att göra något för att bidra till en förändring, väljer de istället att tvinga mäniskor att blunda.

Order Spectacle’s DVDs  Shaker Aamer: a decade of injustice ( New Version) and  Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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Or visit our Guantánamo project  and Shaker Aamer project pages for more information and videos.

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Shaker Aamer, la cara más amarga del día de los enamorados

El 14 de Febrero es famoso por ser el día en el que triunfa el amor. Sin embargo, para Shaker Aamer esta fecha conmemora el undécimo aniversario de su ingreso en Guantánamo. Once años alejado de su mujer e hijos, sin tener cargos en su contra y sin haber tenido un juicio.

Como acto de ¨amor¨ este 14 de Febrero firma la peticón online al Gobierno británico para que Shaker sea liberado y puede volver a su casa en Londres con su familia.

 

¿Quieres saber más sobre la historia de Shaker? Mira nuestro documental:

´Shaker Aamer: Una década de injusticia´

Spectacle ha seguido el caso de Shaker Aamer en detalle tras concluír la realización de Outside The Law: Stories from Guantanamo en 2009.

Encarga el DVD de Spectcle Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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Is Guantánamo still closing down?

President Obama recently spoke about the different promises and “journeys” he wants to complete during his time as a president. He put a special emphasis on gay rights and how the journey was not complete until gay men and women are treated the same as anyone else under the law.

Of course we also support gay rights, we can’t help but wonder why he failed to mention anything about the closing of Guantánamo. Does this mean that the UK resident Shaker Aamer, imprisoned uncharged and untried in Guantánamo for almost 11 years, has to stay in prison even longer?

Was the non-mentioning of Guantánamo an honest mistake by the President or is there another reason behind it?

Order Spectacle’s DVDs  Shaker Aamer: a decade of injustice ( New Version) and  Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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Or visit our Guantánamo project  and Shaker Aamer project pages for more information and videos.

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Jihad Ahmed, Shaker Aamer: diferentes nombres una misma historia

Jihad Diyab al igual que Shaker Aamer lleva más de diez años encarcelado en Guantánamo sin cargos ni juicio. Ahora la administración Obama ha decidido que no tienen razones para mantenerlo detenido. Pero regresar a Siria, su país de origen, tras haber estado en Guantánamo solo podría significar ser torturado, detenido o incluso asesinado. Por lo que necesita un país que lo reciba como refugiado. Parte de la familia materna de Jihad viven en Argentina por lo que su abogado ha pedido que se le de asilo en el país rioplatenese.

Si quieres conocer más a fondo la historia de Jihad Diyab lee el reciente artículo publicado por el diario La Nación.

Al igual que Jihad, Shaker Aamer continúa detenido en Guantánamo. Conoce su historia y haz que cambie su rumbo:

Apoya nuesto trabajo comprando la versión en español del documental Shaker Aamer: Una década de injusticia

Spectacle ha seguido el caso de Shaker Aamer en detalle tras concluír la realización de Outside The Law: Stories from Guantanamo en 2009.

Encarga el DVD de Spectcle Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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