Torture to turn your stomach

News & Politics

For more than three months, 200 detainees at Guantanmo Bay have been on a hunger strike to draw attention to their mistreatment. But they were perhaps overestimating the compassion of the American media, as their strike has gotten very little press and generated even less concern.

Now at least 21 prisoners are being force-fed, with what they say are dirty feeding tubes that have been violently inserted and withdrawn as punishment.

According to lawyers who have recently visited Guantanamo, the repeated removal and insertion of the tubes has caused striking prisoners to vomit blood and to experience intense pain.

The prisoners are being force-fed despite a 1975 Tokyo declaration by the World Medical Association, and supported by the International Red Cross, stating that doctors should not participate in force-feeding, but keep prisoners informed of the sometimes irreversible consequences of their hunger strike.

Amnesty International and human-rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, confirmed that US authorities were keeping 21 alive by forcing food into their stomachs through tubes pushed up their noses. The prisoners are shackled to their beds 24-hours a day to stop them removing the tubes, he said.

The Senate Judiciary Committee may want to ask Supreme Court nominee Harriet Meirs what she thinks about the U.S. torturing people who haven't even been charged with a single crime.

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