Gitmo Activists Mark 100th Day of Hunger Strike With Media 'Storm'

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by
Common Dreams

Gitmo Activists Mark 100th Day of Hunger Strike With Media 'Storm'

Protests to bring greater awareness to ongoing detention and torture at Guantanamo

by
Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Activists protest against the indefinite detention of detainees outside of the Supreme Court. (Photo: Witness Against Torture)

Friday marks the 100th day of the Guantanamo detainees' hunger strike and human rights activists are making it known.

Hacker vigilante group Anonymous is marking the day with a "twitterstorm," implementing social media to bring greater awareness to the human rights violations going on at Guantanamo, particularly the indefinite detention of prisoners, many of whom have for years been cleared for release.

Under the hashtag #GTMO17, the group is asking participants to tweet out facts or quotes in order to convey the reality of the detainees' imprisonment. Some examples include:

  • "...shackled by his wrists and around his waist —while food is “dumped into this throat” for up to two hours at a time." #GTMO17
  • Amnesty International added this week that the situation at the notorious camp is “at a crisis point,” #GTMO17
  • “They won’t let us live in peace and now they won’t let us die in peace,” said detainee al-Kandari. #GTMO17
  • "they go & invade people's cells and beat them up. Maybe they think by doing so is like to break you down/make you stop the strike" #GTMO17
  • "They had a photograph of a Chechen rebel, and they thought that was me. That was secret evidence for five years." #GTMO17

You can watch the "storm" here beginning at 12 PM ET.

Officials say that the number of prisoners partaking in the hunger strike has surpassed 100 as well, with estimates of 102 striking inmates, of 166 total, currently being reported. Attorneys for the detainees say the real figures are more than military officials acknowledge and may be as high as 130 individuals taking part—a pattern which has been consistent throughout the strike.

Of the striking inmates, 30 are reportedly being force-fed through a nasal tube and three are in the hospital.

In order to address some of the details of the ongoing strike—including whether President Obama "keeps his renewed promise to close the prison"— ProPublica is hosting an online discussion Friday with a group of journalists who have been following the story.

They write:

On Friday at 2 pm ET, ProPublica’s Cora Currier (@coracurrier) will be joined by Carol Rosenberg of the Miami Herald (@carolrosenberg), Ryan J. Reilly of the Huffington Post (@ryanjreilly), and Charlie Savage of the New York Times (@charlie_savage) to discuss what’s going on at Gitmo.

You can weigh in by joining the live chat held here, or tweet your questions with the hashtag #GitmoChat.

You can read a transcript of the discussion here.

Elsewhere, a coalition of human rights groups including Witness Against Torture has called for three International Days of Action against Guantanamo. The protests include solidarity fasts, and the delivery of a petition and White House "tweet-in"—both to call on the administration to "keep your promise and close Guantanamo."

The Days of Action will begin Friday evening in Times Square, New York with a mass "sing along" of a hunger-strike song while in Chicago protesters will march from the Federal Plaza wearing the orange uniforms and black hoods emblematic of the detainees.

Throughout the weekend other actions are planned in London, Sydney, Hawaii, Washington DC, Boston, Toledo, Ohio and Amherst, Mass.

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