Our source claimed that the whole camp was virtually involved in this hunger strike and that inmates have now entered their twenty-second day without food.
Since the opening of Guantanamo in 2002, hunger strikes have been the only way for inmates to resist religious, physical and psychological abuses. In retaliation, US authorities have repeatedly and violently forced-fed detainees in order to break their efforts.
There is no doubt that the legal limbo in which the US administration has placed the 166 men remaining on the Cuban Island, has forced them to undertake this dangerous means to obtain justice.
We advise the US authorities to comply with the legitimate demands of the detainees rather than attempting to forcefully put an end to this protest.
With 86 men cleared for release but still held without charge or trial, we should not undermine the responsibility of third countries with regard to the current situation. By refusing to host these innocent men who would otherwise face further torture in their country of origin, the international community is also to be regarded as an obstacle to the closure of Guantanamo.
In particular, we reiterate our call to the British authorities to deploy all their efforts to obtain the return of Shaker Aamer.
The last Londoner in Guantanamo has now been detained without charge for 11 years despite being cleared for release by the US six years ago. Shaker Aamer should have been reunited to his British wife and four children long ago. Instead, he remains incarcerated in the world’s most infamous prison while his health is gravely deteriorating.
“We got used to hearing that our brothers in Guantanamo are on hunger strike; it became almost normal to the rest of the world but it’s not, especially for Muslim prisoners. I’ve been on hunger strike myself: you feel so much pain, your weight drops dramatically, people fall unconscious... The reason why all these men put themselves under so much difficulties is that depriving their body from food is the only means they have to ask for justice.”
Omar Deghayes – Former Guantanamo detainee and Cageprisoners board member.
To know more about what a hunger strike in Guantanamo is like
Read Omar Deghayes’ hunger strike diary
To ask the return of Shaker Aamer to the UK
Sign the petition online