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.