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The Family of Aafia Siddiqui on the Recent Development Regarding Repatriation

The Family of Aafia Siddiqui and the Aafia Movement welcome the news that it appears some steps are finally being taken towards the repatriation of Aafia Siddiqui, the daughter of our Nation. Of course the previous government also made numerous statements but neglected to follow through by actions. We are hopeful that this government will demonstrate by actions rather than words.

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While we welcome Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar’s efforts and actions, there are certain clarifications we want to make regarding what is being said in the media and what we understand.

The Interior Ministry had received a letter from USA in 2010 regarding how sentenced prisoners can be repatriated. This was shared at a press conference by the then Interior Minister Rehman Malik. However it was never pursued.

There is a mention of two treaties:

1. The inter-American convention on serving criminals abroad 1993 and

2. The Convention of the Council of Europe on serving criminal sentences abroad.

Though technically both are similar they differ in that the inter-american treaty has fewer countries and involves USA directly and any prisoner can be returned within a month of ratification. The Council of Europe is a longer and more tedious process as America holds an observer status and many more countries are involved.

Of note is that these are NOT in any-way for prisoner SWAP or EXCHANGE or freedom. They only allow a convicted prisoner who has exhausted all legal options be sent to his/her country of citizenship to complete the sentence in home country.

According to the transfer of offenders ordinance 2002 now implemented by the legislature of Pakistan, the Interior Ministry has to initiate and direct the foreign office to proceed.

Since America has accessed the treaty, if Pakistan does so it will open a path to bring back several Pakistani prisoners serving inhumane sentences in the member countries and vice versa. We hope that one of them will be Aafia.

What the Interior Minister’s “Free Aafia task force committee” has recommended is a list of 10 points, according to media reports. The committee has refused to share those with Aafia’s family or lawyer, which makes one wonder if this hype is a bit premature or a smokescreen to dampen the growing support for Aafia and cool the sentiments of people during Ramadan. Dr. Aafia’s sister, Dr. Fowzia will go to Islamabad in the hope that the points are shared and a positive way forward can be achieved. Dr. Fowzia appreciates the committee’s rapid action and the Interior Minister’s resolve in this matter. She thanks the Media for its vigilance in this matter and hopes the media will clarify common myths and misunderstandings and continue to monitor practical follow through on the positive verbal statements.

In the end, the family of Dr. Aafia can only believe credible and documented efforts that achieve results. Years of rhetoric and broken promises at the highest levels have confirmed that words in the absence of results are either outright lies to sooth sentiments or demonstrate incompetence of the worst kind.

We, like all people of Pakistan, hope that this government will demonstrate results on all the challenges facing Pakistan. Aafia’s repatriation is an easy early result that will validate their sincerity about all issues.

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Posted by on July 20, 2013 in Bushara, News Items

 

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A Web of Suffering: Syria’s Network of Terror Centres

Regime intelligence services are running an “archipelago of torture centers scattered across the country”, according to a report released by Human Rights Watch (HRW).

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The NGO interviewed hundreds of detainees and defectors who confirmed that there are twenty-seven facilities across Syria where the use of acid burning, sexual assault and nail-pulling have been used.

The existence of these facilities and types of torture techniques were confirmed by multiple witnesses. HRW have called it a ‘crime against humanity’ and said that this could be the tip of the iceberg – that many more centers could exist.

Last year, when reports began to leak out of the torture centers in Syria, Jonathan Miller, foreign affairs correspondent for Channel 4, presented the mounting body of evidence to ministers in the Assad government. The Syrian regime fiercely denied these accusations and continues to do so.

In an American television interview last year, President Assad said:

“We don’t kill our people. No government in the world kills its people unless it’s led by a crazy person.”

The HRW report comes as Assad puts through a series of new ‘anti-terrorist’ laws. According to the parliamentary bills:

“Those who are direct members of a terrorist group may be sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison with hard labor, but the punishment will be harder if the goal is to change the regime or the nature of the state.”

Critics said the new laws are clearly targeting members of the opposition and will likely lead to increased detentions in centers where torture is a known interrogation technique.

Although most of the detainees interviewed were men between the ages of 18 and 35, women and children were also amongst the victims.

One 31-year-old detainee spoke to HRW about his experiences in Idlib Central Prison:

“They forced me to undress. Then they started squeezing my fingers with pliers. They put staples in my fingers, chest and ears. I was only allowed to take them out if I spoke. The staples in the ears were the most painful. They used two wires hooked up to a car battery to give me electric shocks. They used electric stun-guns on my genitals twice. I thought I would never see my family again. They tortured me like this three times over three days.”

There are now calls to get the International Criminal Court involved but the court would only have jurisdiction via the UN Security Council, and with Russia still at odds with the rest of the members, this seems unlikely to happen.

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2013 in News Items

 

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Breaking: Afia Siddiqi Possibly to Be Returned to Pakistan

Insha’Allah our Sister Aafia may be returned to Pakistan in a recently reported (see below) prisoner “exchange” agreement that is alleged to have been reached with the United States. We are hopeful that this is true, however there are still many things left unclear, namely when and if this exchange is to occur and what are the conditions of Dr. Siddiqi’s incarceration in her native country, as it seems one of the conditions of the exchange is that she completes her sentence in Pakistan. How much of that 86 year sentence she would be required to complete, as well in what type of facility she would be detained in all remain to be clarified.

We ask Allah to free her and all of our prisoners, and we are hopeful that this is a step forward to sister Aafia returning to her family, and children free and healthy.

In a major breakthrough, the US has offered Pakistan to sign prisoner swap agreement for the extradition of Dr Aafia Siddiqi, after which the Pakistani scientist will be allowed to serve the remaining part of her imprisonment in homeland.

Talking to a private TV channel, the spokesperson of the foreign office Umar Hameed also confirmed that the US has offered Pakistan to sign prisoner swap agreement after which both countries will release each others prisoners.

According to the documents, the US told Pakistan in writing that the only legal way for the extradition of Dr Aafia Siddiqi was to sign prisoner swap agreement with the US. The US offered two deals that include European Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons and Convention on Serving Criminal Sentences Abroad in this regard.

Meanwhile, it was also revealed that the Interior Ministry had formed a task force following the US offer which held its first session on July 3 to review the agreement.

The task force was established under the directives of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the channel said.

The Pakistani neuroscientist was sentenced to 86 years in prison after she was convicted of grabbing a US soldier s M-4 assault rifle and trying to shoot a group of FBI agents and soldiers at an Afghan police compound in July 2008, a charge she consistently denied during the trial.

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2013 in Bushara, News Items

 

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Worrying Trend of Abuse in UK Category A Prison HMP Belmarsh

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Michael Adebolajo a Muslim inmate at notorious prison HMP Belmarsh has been reported by news outlets and the prison service to have received injuries requiring immediate medical attention.

The prison service said the attack occurred on Wednesday 17 July but otherwise refused to confirm reports that Adebolajo had suffered injuries to his mouth or that he had been singled out for attack by prison officers.

A spokeswoman for the prison service said:

“The police are investigating an incident that took place at HMP Belmarsh on 17 July. It would be inappropriate to comment while the investigation [is] ongoing.”

While a Met Police spokesman said:

“We can confirm an allegation of assault was passed to us on July 17 by Belmarsh Prison.”

However the BBC reported that Adebolajo, 28, was receiving medical treatment after having lost two teeth in the brutal attack by prison service staff.

This is not the first time Belmarsh has been in the spotlight for it’s staff’s abuse and mistreatment of prisoners. In January 2005 epileptic Godfrey Moyo, 25, who was on remand, died after being restrained face down on the floor of his cell where he was left bound for twenty minutes after having suffered a seizure.

The tragic death of Moyo is not the only fatality to have occurred at one of Britain’s most notorious prisons, dubbed Britain’s Guantanamo, a 2011 report revealed that four people died at Belmarsh prison in the previous year alone. Inquests into the deaths of inmates have taken up to three years to conduct, and currently there are eight deaths which occurred in Belmarsh awaiting investigation, dating as far back as 2008.

Abuse by the Prison Service regarding the Disability Discrimination Act have also occurred and it is apparent that the Prison Service has systematically demonstrated a lack of compassion, discriminatory treatment of disabled persons, and neglect of disabled persons with regards both the law and human decency.

A report conducted in January of this year found that the medical conditions in Belmarsh were “below par” and several severely mentally ill inmates, in dire need of specialised care have been waiting for more than a year for adequate care conditions.

It is believed that Adebolajo was attacked when warders attempted to “restrain him”, this does not seem to be an isolated incident as there have been previous allegations that Belmarsh’s Dedicated Search Team (DST) conducted aggravated assaults, both physical and sexual in nature upon prisoners resulting in both physical and psychological damage. One such attack was the 12th January assault on the handicapped Shaikh Abu Hamza al-Misri by a group of prison staff.

Whether the recent attack on Adebolajo is resultant of a climate of abuse which is systemic in nature and general to all inmates, or is targeted against Muslims and other minorities alone, is presently indeterminable, however the events of July 17 leave another black mark on the already ill reputed record of the prison service and HMP Belmarsh.

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2013 in News Items

 

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Arbitrary Detentions & Systemic Torture Continue in the UAE

United Arab Emirates state security officers have subjected detainees to systematic mistreatment, including torture, say hand-written letters from detainees smuggled out of jails, Alkarama, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today. The groups obtained twenty-two statements written by some of the ninety-four people on trial for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government. The mistreatment described in the letters is consistent with other allegations of torture at UAE state security facilities, and indicates that torture is a systematic practice at these facilities.

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The statements describe conditions in pre-trial detention in varying levels of detail. Several detainees describe mistreatment that clearly meets the definition of torture as outlined in article 1 of the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which the UAE ratified in July 2012.

“I was beaten with a plastic tube all over my body,” one detainee said. “I was tied to a chair and threatened with electrocution if I didn’t talk. I was insulted and humiliated.

The UAE’s judicial system will lose all credibility if these allegations are swept under the carpet while the government’s critics are put behind bars,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Unless the government investigates and takes action, it will be hard to avoid concluding that torture is routine practice in the UAE.

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Posted by on July 19, 2013 in News Items

 

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Chauncey Lamont Hawkins: July 17th, 2013 (The Expansive Umbrella of Conspiracy)

Assalamualikum Warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu

BismillahiRrahmaniRrahim
Alhumdulillahi wassalaatu wassalaam ala rasulillah wa ala alihi wa sahbihi wa ajmaeen

My brothers and sisters in Islam, first and foremost I want to start with alll praises due to Allah subhana wa ta’ala, Lord of the Mighty Throne. May peace and blessings be on the Messenger of Allah, his family, his companions, and those who follow their way until the Day of Judgement.

First I wanted to express my gratitude for everyone’s patience through the duration of this amazing trial that Allah subhana wa ta’ala has placed on me and my family. I know many of you had concerns, and I would like to apologize first and foremost for the delay because my family and I are very very grateful for all of the support from around the world. May Allah subhana wa ta’ala reward you all immensely.

As many of you may know, my court date was scheduled for the 15th, which is close to the 16th, which is the following day, and Alhumdulillah, QadrAllah Mashafa Allah, we are in a state of gratitude for which many of you brothers and sisters are not aware of. Also I want to explain in detail the charges I was charged with in the federal indictment in the eastern district of North Carolina. I was charged with conspiring to posses with the intent to distribute one or more kilo of heroin.

Now Allah subhana wa ta’ala is a Witness over all things; this is something that me and my family hold very very dear to our hearts in understanding that the way things are decreed for the Muslim, it is incumbent upon us to accept it, regardless of how horrific things may seem.

For many of you who don’t understand or aren’t aware of what a conspiracy is, it doesn’t mean you actually did it, it just means you conspired to do something. Mathalan, for example, if someone were to call you on the phone and make statements in regards of engaging you in some form of an illegal act, the moment that you answer that person’s questions or answer that person in general, you automatically fall underneath this umbrella of ‘conspiracy’.  It means at that point you are conspiring to join that individual who called you to do something illegal.

So in my case, back in 2008, before Islam, Alhumdulillah, I was affiliated- not even affiliated, I don’t want to say that, but some individuals had crossed my path who were interested at one point in the music business. And at some point these individuals called me in regards to something that was totally away from the lifestyle and the life that I was living. The fact that I responded to these individuals, placed me under the umbrella of ‘conspiracy’.

Therefore, after these individuals were apprehended by the United States government, they chose to implicate me in their situation and also implicated me in having a leadership role knowing that my involvement was very very minute and limited. But because of the way the United States government works, they used the information of the informant to come up with an elaborate story to make me look like I had a leadership role in the ‘conspiracy’.

[end of phone time]

Assalamualikum warahmatullah, excuse me for the interruption. As I was saying, these individuals, in their very very evil ways had conducted a whole array of different crimes that destroyed a lot of lives today in North Carolina. And by my mere, very mere and minute correspondence, placed me under the radar of this whole conspiracy.

Many of you are aware of when I accepted the religion of Islam, I left behind many things. I share these things in my talks as far as my life in the music industry. I was born on the streets of Harlem, just being exposed to some of these things, it started with people with emptiness, it came with success, it was easy for me to abstain from these things because of the difficulty that I faced with many things in my life. this was why I was able to submit to the Will of Allah subhana wa ta’ala and follow the sunnah of the Messenger of Allah, sallahhu alihi wassalam.

And the reason for avoiding any dialog regarding the case is because of the sensitivity of the matter; the position I was placed in it was very much incumbent upon me to remain quiet until I understood fully first and foremost the severity of what I was involved in or the severity of what I was being accused of being involved in.

Of course, naturally my first approach was to take the case to trial, but because of the morals of the people who collectively united against me to try to alleviate or lighten their own sentences for the crimes they committed, these individuals basically collectively got together to try to throw me in the situation where I was the leader or primary motivator behind this whole ‘conspiracy’ which is extremely far from the truth.

Because I also possessed a prior criminal history, basically I was convicted of a felony at the age eighteen in 1993, and I was also convicted of a felony 2006. So with the two felonies and trying to take this case to trial and fight against the United States government and a whole list of informants who all collectively tried to turn against me and give me a leadership role in a conspiracy that had nothing to do with me.

If I had gone to trial or made a decision to go to trial with the two prior convictions I would be looking at life in prison, mandatory, meaning life my entire life in prison with no hope parole or anything. So based on that, I was pressured into a situation where I had to accept responsibility for this minor role that fell under the umbrella of conspiracy and at that point the charge carried 10 years to life.

So my court date prior to the one on the 16th, I had to accept responsibility for something I really had no dealings with and was one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make in my life. And for the sake of not risking going against the United States government and its whole list of informants and evil individuals who committed these crimes and did not want to uphold their actions tried to turn around and implicate me in their situation, I was forced to accept responsibility from them for things I had no dealings with. And like I said, at that point the charges were 10 years to life, versus going to trial and possibly losing and getting mandatory life.

On the 16th , this [recent] court date was actually a sentencing for that, my presentencing report game back and my criminal guidelines were 135 months to 158 months which is like 11 and a half years to 14 years. My attorneys, who were very good attorneys, fought to get the statutory minimal which was ten years which was the least [sentence] I could obtain through the whole duration of this lengthy trial. And unfortunately the judge chose to take the higher end of my criminal guidelines, which was 158 months.

So on July 16th I was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison but because of time I’ve already been incarcerated, which is 20 months, I’m only obliged to serve only 85% of the 14 year sentence, which would be around 11 years and some months, minus 20 months that I’ve been incarcerated. minus a year for completing a program then being released for six months in a halfway house, leads roughly 8 and half years.

So eventually I will have to serve 8 and half years in federal prison and the reason why I say Alhumdulillah is because when I entered the situation, I was oblivious to first why I was even arrested, why I was even stopped in Belgium, why, why, why. By being patient and being steadfast in my ibadat, and constantly seeking refuge in Allah subhana wa ta’ala, gradually things started to come into the light. By praying istikhara through the duration of every decision I’ve made, that lead to the conclusion of the decree of Allah subhana wa ta’ala that I was sentenced to 14 years of which I’ll only have to serve Inshallah eight and half years  .

The reason why my family and I are so grateful, first and foremost I praise Allah subhana wa ta’ala for making this trial easy for us in ways that I cant really explain, its amazing. Then Allah subhana wa ta’ala also had brought into our lives many brothers and sisters from around the world, so many that I can’t even count. May Allah subhana wa ta’ala reward you all for your prayer and supplication and charity and all the good. My family and I are truly grateful to Allah subhana wa ta’ala for the supprot from our brothers and sister from all around the world.

And once again the reason why I say Alhumdulillah, in facing this situation where the possibility is life in prison and I had never been in prison in my life. Yes, as I mentioned I had prior convictions, but Alhumdulillah I was able to be issued probation, and I completed my probation but I had never been incarcerated no longer than 1 month and a half. This has been the longest time I’ve ever been incarcerated and the only time I’ve ever been incarcerated. But to be looking at a situation where you may never see daylight again, never be able to be with your family, never be able to spend that time with your companions, visit your brothers and sisters, all the type of things that Allah subhana wa ta’ala has allowed me to do these past four and a half years that I’ve been Muslim… it’s a very very very difficult situation to be facing.

And then, as I failed to mention, going into the sentencing because of my prior convictions there was a fear of me being charged as a career offender. Basically saying that this was my whole career. You look at a felony that was committed in 1993 for which the statutory limit is 15 years, so it can be used, but there is another one in 2006, the United States government is in a position where they could have used both of these felonies, in a way saying these two felonies plus this case would make you a career criminal. Basically saying that my whole life my whole career was a drug dealer. And that being said, I would have been sentenced to a minimum of 25 years.

Only from my presentencing to come back that I wasnt a career offender, that my guidelines were 135 months to 158 months. Brothers and sisters I would like…

[end of phone]

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim

Assalamualikum wa rahmatullah

Continuing from where I left off, like I said, I ask that all of you, Alhumdulillah, may Allah reward you all, to continue to pray and make dua for my family and I, and that Allah subhana wa ta’ala continues to gradually remove this burden, and give to you the understanding once again conspiracy, in the depth and detail of a conspiracy charge in that anything that falls under that umbrella of conspiracy, you can be held accountable in the court of law in the United States government.Like I said, being faced with the situation where you could receive life imprisonment, being narrowed down to the possibility of 25 years or more, down to the 11 years, at this point, and Allah is the Best of Planners, as of now, to fourteen years of prison of which I Inshallah will only have to serve 8 and half years,

Because also the severity of the situation, having myself to understand the severity of the situation I was facing, basically for introducing one individual to another individual, was enough to put me in a situation where I fell under the conspiracy, and once these individuals were incarcerated, some of them received life sentences, some of them received 20 or 30 year sentences, in order to save themselves, they turned around and said, “Loon was the guy who was supplying us, Loon was the guy who was doing this…” so forth and so on.

QadrAllah, I accept what Allah has decreed, and I’ve been very  focused on all of the good thats been transcended through the duration of the time that I’ve been incarcerated these 20 months, and through the duration of this time nothing has stopped me from worshiping Allah subhana wa ta’ala, nothing has stopped me from inviting the people to alIslam, nothing has stopped from playing a role in my family, nothing has stopped me from being a husband to my wife, nothing has stopped me from being a father to my children, nothing has stopped from being a servant of the Most Merciful,

So I was in a situation where I was faced with two evils, and I accepted the lesser evil, and that was to accept responsibility for the situation that I played no significant role in, but based on the elaborate scheme that the United States government put together in accordance with the informants and evil people, may Allah guide them or destroy them, falls down to your brother in Islam having to accept a plea to being sentenced to 14 years, of which Bi’ithnillah I only have to serve 8 and a half years,

So once again I would like to express my gratitude to Allah subhana wa ta’ala for making this journey a benefit, in this life and hopefully in the next, and also for bringing the Muslims together to aid a Muslim in a time of hardship, may Allah subhana wa ta’ala reward you all. And I ask that you continue to pray and supplicate for my family, that Allah subhana wa ta’ala gives them the strength to continue on. Alhumdulillah Allah subhana wa ta’ala has blessed me with a beautiful family. My family has taken this situation extremely well, they have accepted the decree of Allah subhana wa ta’ala and we’ve all remained very firm and steadfast, and I ask you all to continue to pray and ask Allah subhana wa ta’ala to continue to give us strength when we are weak and continue to give us knowledge when we are ignorant, and continues to increase us in Imaan and Taqwa and increase us in Patience, and gratitude,

Inshallah ta’ala I hope this is sufficient for everyone who is concerned, may Allah bless you all, may Allah reward you all and your families, and Inshallah ta’ala I will continue like I mentioned in my last talk, I will continue my efforts to do Da’wah, I will continue the completion of writing my book, I will continue to do all the good things that Allah subhana wa ta’ala has placed in my life, and Allah subhana wa ta’ala will continue test me and test us all until we return to Him. I’m very grateful that I’ve had strength, I’m not depressed, and I will never despair of the Mercy of Allah subhana wa ta’ala because He is the Most Merciful.

So I ask you brothers ans sisters, do not worry, but just remain firm, and also try to obtain all the benefits of this holy month of Ramadan, because our fasting and praying for Allah subhana wa ta’ala eventually leads to extreme ease, and makes my acceptance of anything Allah decrees for me and my family easier.

Alhumdulillahirabbilalamin

Jazakallahukhair

Barakallahu feekum

Assalamualikum warahmatullahi wabarkatuhu

 

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Moath al-Alwi: July 2013 (The Only Way I Have Left to Cry Out for Life, Freedom & Dignity)

A month ago, the guards here at Guantanamo Bay gave me an orange jumpsuit. After years in white and brown, the colours of compliant prisoners, I am very proud to wear my new clothes. The colour orange is Guantanamo’s banner. Anyone who knows the truth about this place knows that orange is its only true colour.

My name is Moath al-Alwi. I have been a prisoner of the United States at Guantanamo since 2002. I was never charged with any crime and I have not received a fair trial in US courts. To protest this injustice, I began a hunger strike in February. Now, twice a day, the US military straps me down to a chair and pushes a thick tube down my nose to force-feed me.

When I choose to remain in my cell in an act of peaceful protest against the force-feeding, the prison authorities send in a Forced Cell Extraction team: six guards in full riot gear. Those guards are deliberately brutal to punish me for my protest. They pile up on top of me to the point that I feel like my back is about to break. They then carry me out and strap me into the restraint chair, which we hunger strikers call the torture chair.

A new twist to this routine involves the guards restraining me to the chair with my arms cuffed behind my back. The chest strap is then tightened, trapping my arms between my torso and the chair’s backrest. This is done despite the fact that the torture chair features built-in arm restraints. It is extremely painful to remain in this position.

Even after I am tied to the chair, a guard digs his thumbs under my jaw, gripping me at the pressure points and choking me as the tube is inserted down my nose and into my stomach. They always use my right nostril now because my left one is swollen shut after countless feeding sessions. Sometimes, the nurses get it wrong, snaking the tube into my lung instead, and I begin to choke.

The US military medical staff conducting the force-feeding at Guantanamo is basically stuffing us prisoners to bring up our weight – mine had dropped from 168 pounds to 108 pounds, before they began force-feeding me. They even use constipation as a weapon, refusing to give hunger strikers laxatives despite the fact that the feeding solutions inevitably cause severe bloating.

If a prisoner vomits after this ordeal, the guards immediately return him to the restraint chair for another round of force-feeding. I’ve seen this inflicted on people up to three times in a row.

Even vital medications for prisoners have been stopped by military medical personnel as additional pressure to break the hunger strike.

Those military doctors and nurses tell us that they are simply obeying orders from the colonel in charge of detention operations, as though that officer were a doctor or as if doctors had to follow his orders rather than their medical ethics or the law.

But they must know that what they are doing is wrong, else they would not have removed the nametags with their pseudonyms or numbers. They don’t want to be identifiable in any way, for fear of being held accountable someday by their profession or the world.

I spend the rest of my time in my solitary confinement cell, on 22-hour lockdown. The authorities have deprived us of the most basic necessities. No toothbrushes, toothpaste, blankets, soap or towels are allowed in our cells. If you ask to go to the shower, the guards refuse. They bang on our doors at night, depriving us of sleep.

They have also instituted a humiliating genital search policy. I asked a guard why. He answered:

“So you don’t come out to your meetings and calls with your lawyers and give them information to use against us.”

But the prisoners’ weights are as low as their spirits are high. Every man I know here is determined to remain on hunger strike until the US government begins releasing prisoners.

Those of you on the outside might find that difficult to comprehend. My family certainly does. If I’m lucky, I’m allowed four calls with them each year. My mother spent most of my most recent call pleading with me to stop my hunger strike. I had only this to say in response: “Mom, I have no choice.” It is the only way I have left to cry out for life, freedom and dignity.

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2013 in Letters from Moath al-Alwi, Risala

 

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