As I write this, I am sitting at a desk in a facility known as Guantanamo North, and my words in support of my brothers in Guantanamo Bay are on behalf other prisoners in this facility, who are unjustly imprisoned by a system which long ago rejected any shred of dignity, honor and justice in order to kowtow to reactionary politics and irrational terror. As one reads this, one should not lose sight of the fact that there is little difference between those being held in Guantanamo North in the mainland of the United States, having been prosecuted for various “crimes,” and those being held in Guantanamo Bay on mere suspicions. One group has simply been bussed through a mere illusion of judicial process, while the others are being held under open and shameless tyranny.
Our brothers in Guantanamo Bay are suffering one of the gravest and most obvious injustices since the turn of the century. Many of them, having already been cleared for release, are being held for purely political reasons. Congress took advantage of their situation by blocking their transfers when America was gripped by a sudden wave of Islamophobia, in 2011. Then, in order to play politics and shift the blame squarely on Congress, President Obama refused to utilize an existing legal mechanism to effect their release.
Children have now become adults with little memory of their fathers. Mothers have gone to their graves without a final kiss goodbye from their sons. Yet, politicians and demagogues have bolted the doors to their freedom, all to promote some political charade.
Thus, they have decided to go on a hunger strike until their demands are met and the injustice which burdens them is lifted from their shoulders. All they are asking is that they not be falsely imprisoned, and that if they must be imprisoned upon lies, then their conditions should at the very minimum afford them an ounce of dignity.
We are imprisoned under harsh circumstances ourselves. We are those with the greatest excuse to turn a blind eye on the suffering of our brothers, but we cannot idly watch events go by in the face of such tyranny. Perhaps in this frozen silence of apathy and cowardice, our meek voices will be heard, as there is little din to drown them out.
We hope that the sacrifice of these brothers should shame the Muslim community to stand up to this injustice. We hope that the general American people will be inspired to demand a higher moral standard from their government. We hope that politicians might place rhetoric aside in pursuit of justice.
In these troubled times, the demagogues are many and the chivalry of the public has died. The tyranny of the elite runs wild in the face of the complacency of the masses. The men and women of the world have lost the courage and commitment to champion the causes of justice and dignity.
Therefore, a small group of individuals in a remote dungeon have shouldered the burden of courage and have risen to the occasion. They have decided to starve until their demands are met, having been abandoned by the world. What they lack in resources shall, by Allah’s Will, be overcome by the tenacity of their resolve.
We encourage all who read this, every soul with any fervor for truth, justice or his fellow man, to stand in solidarity with the oppressed spirits in Guantanamo Bay. We ask the public to stand against this injustice. We challenge the Muslims in America to put aside their fear of being labeled as “un-American,” and to have the courage to stand up for their brethren when their faith demands it.
Is it too much to ask of the world that they raise their voices for a moment? That they take a few minutes to write a letter to the politicians holding these men hostage? Is that a heavy price for the freedom of the unjustly enslaved? Is that such a great burden that it is not worth uniting a father with his children? a husband with his wife? a son with his mother?
The tyranny in Guantanamo Bay is a shame upon every being which calls itself a human. The Draconian subjugation of the innocent is only rivaled by the world’s apathetic silence in this regard. It has been said that all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. Yet, in light of the duration and acuteness of this undeniable oppression, one is to ask if the good men have all passed.
Zachary Adam Chesser #76715-083 USP Marion U.S. Penitentiary PO Box 1000 Marion, IL 62959 USA