Despair Drives Guantnamo Detainees to Revolt
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times
Posted: April 30th, 2013
A hunger strike is now in its third month [at Guantnamo prison], with 93 prisoners considered to be participating more than half the inmates. Both military officials and lawyers for the detainees agree about the underlying cause of the turmoil: a growing sense among many prisoners, some of whom have been held without trial for more than 11 years, that they will never go home. While President Obama made closing the prison a top priority when he entered the White House, he put that effort on the back burner in the face of Congressional opposition to his plan to move the detainees to a Supermax facility inside the United States. The prisoners had great optimism that Guantnamo would be closed, Gen. John F. Kelly, who oversees the prison as head of the United States Southern Command, recently told Congress. They were devastated when the president backed off ... of closing the facility. That disappointment was heightened by Mr. Obamas decision in January 2011 to sign legislation to restrict the transfers of prisoners. More than half the inmates were designated three years ago for transfer to another country if security conditions could be met, but the transfers dried up. President Obama has publicly and privately abandoned his promise to close Guantnamo, said Carlos Warner, a lawyer who represents one of 17 hunger strikers being kept alive by force-feeding through nasal tubes. His tragic political decision has caused the men to lose all hope. Thus, many innocent men have chosen death over a life of unjust indefinite detention.
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