Guantanamo's Twelfth Ramadan


It’s day three of Ramadan, which means it’s the third day of “culturally appropriate” force-feeding at Guantanamo Bay, during which detainees are force-fed before sunrise and after sunset. Yesterday Senators Dianne Feinstein and Richard Durbin wrote a very detailed letter to the Secretary of Defense and the President, asking for a halt to the force-feedings. On Monday, a court rejected a petition by hunger strikers, declaring that only the White House could intervene. All four inmates suing were cleared for release or transfer from Guantanamo more than a year ago.

In case you missed it, this week Yasiin Bey, the artist formerly known as Mos Def, underwent Gitmo’s standard procedure of using nasogastric tubes to force-feed hunger strike participants. The steps of the procedure were revealed in a document leaked to Al Jazeera. Despite being chained and strapped to the feeding chair, Bey was unable to complete the procedure due to excruciating pain.

Of the 779 people detained at Guantanamo, about 600 have been released or transfered. 106 of the current 166 Guantanamo detainees are on hunger strike; 45 are being force-fed. 40 Gitmo detainees were just released from a three-month lockdown, during which they spent at least 22 hours a day in solitary confinement.