The Hunger Strikes at Guantánamo Bay Prison Revealed in Poignant Animated Video

In late Sep­tem­ber, the US mil­i­tary declared the hunger strikes at Guan­tá­namo Bay over. “At its peak,” writes Char­lie Sav­age in The New York Times, “106 of the 166 pris­on­ers … were list­ed as par­tic­i­pants” in the strike. That num­ber has now dropped to 19, they say, and they’re all being giv­en “the appro­pri­ate lev­el of care.” What exact­ly does that mean? You can get an idea from this ani­mat­ed video cre­at­ed by The Guardian. In 6 min­utes, you’ll get intro­duced to the world of peo­ple who have spent years in prison. They’ve nev­er been charged with a crime nor giv­en access to the legal sys­tem. Despite being cleared for release, many remain stuck in lim­bo year after year. When they lose hope and go on hunger strike, they have tubes and food crammed down their noses. Poignant as it may be, the col­or­ful ani­ma­tion may dull your reac­tion to what’s actu­al­ly hap­pen­ing in Guan­tá­namo. Per­haps it’s bet­ter to look at these col­or pho­tos to ful­ly appre­ci­ate the Kafkaesque sys­tem the gov­ern­ment has put in place.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Odd Col­lec­tion of Books in the Guan­tanamo Prison Library

The Lost/Animated Inter­view with Fidel Cas­tro: If the Rev­o­lu­tion Fails, Cuba Will be “Hell Itself” (1959)

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  • Hanoch says:

    It may also be worth point­ing out that, as of Jan. 13, 2013, accord­ing to the Depart­ment of Defense, over one quar­ter of released detainees are sus­pect­ed or con­firmed to have reen­gaged in ter­ror­ist activ­i­ties. (You can see the report here: Thus, the sit­u­a­tion is not so sim­ple, as the cur­rent Admin­is­tra­tion appar­ent­ly dis­cov­ered after tak­ing office.

  • Scott Webb says:

    Detain any­one with­out rea­son for x many years and there’s a good chance they’ll resort to vengeance by any means pos­si­ble. And any­one “1/4th of them might be bad guys” or “it’s con­ve­nient” is no jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for impris­on­ment with­out charge.

    • Bart says:

      Which is of course good news. The US gov­’t needs the (appar­ent) threat of ter­ror­ism to uphold inhu­mane prac­tices like spy­ing on every one of their cit­i­zens and ille­gal wars.

  • The major­i­ty of the peo­ple in Git­mo were repa­tri­at­ed or relo­cat­ed to new host coun­tries by 2010. The remain­ing pris­on­ers are those for which an alter­nate host coun­try can not be found or have a coun­try for which repa­tri­a­tion would result in the death penal­ty (e.g. King­dom of Sau­di Ara­bia). nnnThis is the rea­son why Git­mo is not closed despite Oba­ma’s cam­paign promise to do so.

  • linogermayne says:

    This is the rea­son why Git­mo is not closed despite Oba­ma’s cam­paign promise to do so.

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