End shame of Guantanamo

Video of my appearance on Rtv discussing force-feeding of Muslims at Gitmo during Ramadan: 

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http://blogs.detroitnews.com/politics/2013/07/10/need-to-end-shame-of-guantanamo/#comments

JUL 10, 2013, 5:00 AM 

End the shame of Guantanamo

Force-feeding of detainees at Guantanamo Bay is part of a shameful narrative of how the United States, the beacon of liberty for the world, is failing to uphold human rights for all.

On Monday, a federal judge urged President Obama to end the “painful, humiliating and degrading process” of force-feeding as it is a violation of human rights and medical ethics.

Institutions such as the United Nations, Amnesty International and the American Medical Association have also launched strong criticisms of this inhumane method of feeding people by force.

The larger issue is that detainees have simply given up hope because they are being held indefinitely without trial for alleged crimes including war crimes.  Eighty-six of them have been cleared of wrongdoing yet are being force-fed as Ramadan, the month of fasting, has begun.

Amir Hekmati, a Michigan Muslim who is also a U.S. military veteran, is being held indefinitely in Iran on charges of espionage.  Hekmati was detained almost two years ago and has not been given a fair and transparent trial to face allegations against him.  When broaching his case with Iranians, I heard the response that we Americans are hypocrites for mentioning the Hekmati case when other nationalities – including Iranians – have been held indefinitely without charge in Guantanamo.

How could I respond?

It does not matter what other countries do. The lack of due process and inhumane conditions to which Guantanamo detainees are subjected must end.  We as Americans must demand a higher standard from our government if we want to continue to be seen as the land of human rights for all.

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