Visit ArabTopics.com

41 Hearts Beating in Guantanamo by Kathy Kelly

January 11, 2018 marked the 16th year that Guantanamo prison has exclusively imprisoned Muslim men, subjecting many of them to torture and arbitrary detention.

About thirty people gathered in Washington D.C., convened by Witness Against Torture, (WAT), for a weeklong fast intended to close Guantanamo and abolish torture forever. Six days ago, Matt Daloisio arrived from New York City in a van carefully packed with twelve years’ worth of posters and banners, plus sleeping bags, winter clothing and other essentials for the week.

Matt spent an hour organizing the equipment in the large church hall housing us. “He curates it,” said one WAT organizer.

Later, Matt reflected that many of the prisoners whose visages and names appear on our banners have been released. In 2007, there were 430 prisoners in Guantanamo. Today, 41 men are imprisoned there. Shaker Aamer has been reunited with the son whom he had never met while imprisoned in Guantanamo. Mohammed Ould Slahi, author of Guantanamo Diary, has finally been released. These encouraging realities don’t in the slightest diminish the urgency we feel in seeking the release of the 41 men still imprisoned in Guantanamo.

Not even one of the 41 prisoners now in Guantanamo was captured by the U.S. military on a battlefield. Afghan militias and the Pakistani military were paid cash bounties for selling 86 percent of these prisoners into US custody. Imagine the “green light” given for other countries to practice buying and selling of human beings.

Aisha Manar, working with the London Campaign to Close Guantanamo, points out that “the rights violating practices surrounding Guantanamo are now a model for the detention and incarceration polices of the US and other states.”

This chilling reality is reflected in Associated Press reports revealing that the United Arab Emirates operates a network of secret prisons in Southern Yemen, where prisoners are subjected to extreme torture. This has included being trussed to a rotating machine called “the grill” and exposed to a roasting fire.

“Nearly 2,000 men have disappeared into the clandestine prisons,” the AP reports, “a number so high that it has triggered near-weekly protests among families seeking information about missing sons, brothers and fathers.”

One of the main detention complexes is at Riyan Airport in Yemen’s southern city of Mukalla. Former detainees, speaking on condition of anonymity told of “being crammed into shipping containers smeared with feces and blindfolded for weeks on end. They said they were beaten, trussed up on the ‘grill,’ and sexually assaulted.”

A member of the Yemeni security force set up by the United Arab Emirates told AP that American forces were at times only yards away.

“It would be a stretch to believe the US did not know or could not have known that there was a real risk of torture,” said Amnesty International’s director of research in the Middle East, Lynn Maalouf.

On January 9, 2018, WAT members tried to deliver a letter to UAE Ambassador Yusuf Al Otaiba, seeking his response to these reports. Security guards took our pictures but said they were unable to accept our letter.

Two days later, joining numerous other groups for a large rally, we donned orange jumpsuits and black hoods, carried placards bearing the number “41” and displayed two main banners. One said: “It would take a genius to close Guantanamo.” And the other: “We are still here because you are still there.

Forty-one hearts still beat in Guantanamo prison cells. That’s forty-one too many.

A version of this article was first published on The Progressive website. Kathy Kelly (kathy@vcnv.org) co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence.

Source: 
AntiWar.com Blog

Support this site

News Sources

Source Items
The Real News 240
Scrutinised Minds 16
Need To Know News 838
FEE 1910
Marine Le Pen 92
Francois Asselineau 25
Opassande 50
HAX on 5July 220
Henrik Alexandersson 347
Mohamed Omar 170
Professors Blog 10
Arg Blatte Talar 36
Angry Foreigner 14
Fritte Fritzson 11
Teologiska rummet 28
Filosofiska rummet 49
Vetenskapsradion Historia 65
Snedtänkt (Kalle Lind) 144
Les Crises 1057
Richard Falk 64
Ian Sinclair 54
SpinWatch 31
Counter Currents 3403
Kafila 256
Gail Malone 24
Transnational Foundation 221
Rick Falkvinge 74
The Duran 4700
Vanessa Beeley 65
Nina Kouprianova 9
MintPress 3014
Paul Craig Roberts 712
News Junkie Post 40
Nomi Prins 17
Kurt Nimmo 191
Strategic Culture 2069
Sir Ken Robinson 13
Stephan Kinsella 39
Liberty Blitzkrieg 703
Sami Bedouin 60
Consortium News 1701
21 Century Wire 2353
Burning Blogger 243
Stephen Gowans 47
David D. Friedman 111
Anarchist Standard 16
The BRICS Post 1295
Tom Dispatch 300
Levant Report 17
The Saker 2553
The Barnes Review 422
John Friend 305
Psyche Truth 146
Jonathan Cook 122
New Eastern Outlook 2500
School Sucks Project 1074
Giza Death Star 1219
Andrew Gavin Marshall 15
Red Ice Radio 528
GMWatch 1380
Robert Faurisson 113
Espionage History Archive 33
Jay's Analysis 534
Le 4ème singe 67
Jacob Cohen 171
Agora Vox 6588
Cercle Des Volontaires 376
Panamza 1211
Fairewinds 98
Project Censored 515
Spy Culture 281
Conspiracy Archive 56
Crystal Clark 11
Timothy Kelly 314
PINAC 1455
The Conscious Resistance 430
Independent Science News 60
The Anti Media 3935
Positive News 793
Brandon Martinez 30
Steven Chovanec 47
Lionel 224
The Mind renewed 191
Natural Society 2391
Yanis Varoufakis 648
Tragedy & Hope 106
Dr. Tim Ball 52
Web of Debt 113
Porkins Policy Review 272
Conspiracy Watch 174
Eva Bartlett 494
Libyan War Truth 254
DeadLine Live 1882
Kevin Ryan 57
BSNEWS 1822
Aaron Franz 153
Traces of Reality 166
Revelations Radio News 102
Dr. Bruce Levine 91
Peter B Collins 1127
Faux Capitalism 203
Dissident Voice 8353
Climate Audit 207
Donna Laframboise 240
Judith Curry 987
Geneva Business Insider 40
Media Monarchy 1627
Newsbud 2258
Syria Report 70
Human Rights Investigation 85
Intifada (Voice of Palestine) 1685
Down With Tyranny 8449
Laura Wells Solutions 15
Video Rebel's Blog 397
Revisionist Review 474
Aletho News 15196
ضد العولمة 27
Penny for your thoughts 2306
Northerntruthseeker 1757
كساريات 37
Color Revolutions and Geopolitics 27
Stop Nato 4474
AntiWar.com Blog 2285
AntiWar.com Original Content 5272
Corbett Report 1855
Stop Imperialism 491
Land Destroyer 1016
Webster Tarpley Website 739

Compiled Feeds

Public Lists

Title Visibility
Funny Public