Socialist Worker

Guantanamo guards terrorise prisoners on hunger strike

by Siân Ruddick
Issue No. 2349

The last British detainee in Guantanamo Bay has spoken out about conditions in the prison and why he’s on hunger strike.

Shaker Aamer, who has been held for over ten years, has told his lawyer that people in the camp are close to death. 

“I fall down all the time but I do not call [the guards], as it is humiliating. When they call Code Yellow [for when a prisoner collapses], they step on your fingers, your hands, they scratch you, even then you are living in fear when they say they are treating you,” he said. 

“Yesterday they tied me on the board and threw me in a cell because the medical people were busy.”

There are still 166 prisoners at the US detention camp in Cuba, set up by George W Bush. 

US officials say that 43 are on the hunger strike which began on 6 February, but Aamer says the number is much higher.

Aamer, like his fellow inmates, has not seen evidence of the case against him. The US claims he confessed to assisting Osama bin Laden but Aamer says he was tortured when he was held at the notorious Bagram air base prison. 

A confrontation broke out between prisoners and soldiers on Saturday as guards tried to move detainees into solid-walled cells.

Another hunger striker, Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel from Yemen, has described being force-fed twice a day. “It was so painful that I begged them to stop,” he said. “Some of the ‘food’ spilled on my clothes. I asked them to change my clothes but the guard refused to allow me this last shred of my dignity.”

A petition demanding Shaker Aamer is returned to Britain reached 100,000 signatures last week, making the issue eligible for parliamentary debate.

Sign the petition and get involved at www.saveshaker.org

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News
Tue 16 Apr 2013, 19:00 BST
Issue No. 2349
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