Held captive for over four years, completely denied due process, many surviving torture, most never charged with any crime (only nine of the estimated 500 Gitmo POWs have actually been charged), and all facing what appears to be a life sentence without any legal recourse, "detainees" at Camp X-ray have escalated their hunger strike. 84 are now refusing food.
"You are talking about a prison population of hundreds who have decided that with no conceivable change in their future that they just don't care to live anymore, or they are going to make a statement in dying," (Amnesty International's Jumana Musa) said.Guantanamo spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jeremy Martin dismisses the hunger strike as a publicity stunt.
This is consistent with al-Qaeda training and reflects detainee attempts to elicit media attention and bring pressure on the United States government.Well, we're certainly not paying much attention to human rights at Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram and elsewhere even with reports of torture, are we? Of course a protest like this is supposed to call attention to US policy. It appears to be US policy (and the policy of the mainstream US media) to ignore it.
In 1981, ten Irishmen died in British prisons on hunger strike against similar conditions as those faced by "detainees" in Guantanamo.
In 1920, Terence MacSwiney became the first Irishman in modern history to die in a hunger strike against British subjugation of the Irish nation.
Of course a hunger strike is meant to call attention to something.