May 10, 2013
Justice for Guantanamo Prisoners
The 100 or more prisoners who are on hunger strike at Guantanamo Prison are crying out for human treatment. They are exercising the only power they have to get someone to listen to them: to refuse food. Some of them are being brutally force-fed, which is considered torture. Dr. Jeremy Lazarus (president AMA) has said: ““The administration cannot force feed its way out of this growing medical emergency.”
President Obama knows that this is unacceptable. He knows that it is unjustified and inhumane. What can the President do? He has clear choices and powers. He can appoint a senior point-person in the administration for immediate action. He can order the secretary of defense to begin to certify detainees for transfer (86 prisoners have been cleared for release and are languishing in spite of global calls for their transfer). The president can do these things today and he knows that he can. He will be held responsible for the deaths of the prisoners if he does not act to save them. The White House comment line is 202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414.
I am taking part in a fast in support of the Guantanamo hunger-striking prisoners, along with many people across Maine, across the country, and around the world. The words of prisoner Adnan Latif guide my thoughts today. “Where is the world to save the hunger strikers? But we are content, on the side of justice and right… our motto on this island is, salaam.”
Adnan Latif died at Guantanamo in September 2012 after nearly 11 years captive there, possibly of suicide. He is among many prisoners who use poetry to fight despair.
Where is the world to save humanity?