Over 100 people imprisoned at Guantanamo are on a hunger strike, a non-violent and long-standing form of protest. In response to the hunger strikers' protest, the Obama administration has ordered the use of force-feeding.
Force-feeding is torture. The force-feeding process is inherently cruel, inhuman, and degrading. The prisoner is strapped into a chair with restraints on his legs, arms, body, and sometimes head, immobilizing him. A tube is inserted up his nostril, and snaked down his throat into his stomach. A liquid nutritional supplement is then forced down the tube. The prisoner is restrained in the chair for upwards of two hours to prevent him from vomiting. As Guantánamo hunger-striker Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel explained recently: “I can’t describe how painful it is to be force-fed this way. As it was thrust in, it made me feel like throwing up. I wanted to vomit, but I couldn’t. There was agony in my chest, throat and stomach. I had never experienced such pain before.” Debilitating risks of force-feeding include major infections, pneumonia, collapsed lungs, heart failure, post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological trauma. (The military acknowledged use of "restraint chairs" for feeding hunger-striking prisoners in 2006 to prevent them from vomiting up forced nutrition). Force-feeding violates international law. The UN Human Rights Commission has called the force-feedings torture and the World Medical Association specifically prohibited force-feeding in its Declaration of Tokyo.
This is what it looks like: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/08/force-feed-gitmo_n_3561647.html.
In a July 8, 2013 order, a federal judge stated that "Even though this Court is obligated to dismiss the Application for lack of jurisdiction...there is an individual who does have the authority to address the issue. In a speech on May 23,2013, President Barack Obama stated, 'Look at the current situation, where we are force-feeding detainees who are holding a hunger strike. . . Is that who we are? Is that something that our founders foresaw? Is that the America we want to leave to our children? Our sense of justice is stronger than that.'...the President of the United States, as Commander-in-Chief, has the authority-- and power-- to directly address the issue of force-feeding of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay". In response, the White House defended the force-feeding of Guantanamo Bay prisoners, stressing, “We don’t want these individuals to die.”
The Obama administration has the power to stop these force feedings and release the 86 prisoners cleared for release. Urge the administration, and President Obama himself, to stop the ordered torture of these men and fulfill his 2008 promise to shut down Guantánamo Bay Detention Facility.
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