The brutality of tactics used to force-feed inmates at the Guantanamo Bay prison is escalating, according to the last British citizen being held at the camp. He says that metal-tipped feeding tubes are causing already-starving inmates to vomit.
46-year-old Shaker Aamer, from London, has been held at Guantanamo Bay prison without charge or trial for over 11 years. He confirmed to the Guardian newspaper that prison authorities are intensifying their efforts to try and break strikers by introducing new equipment.
One detainee was admitted to hospital around 10 days ago after having the feeding tube pushed into his lungs rather than his stomach.
“The administration is getting ever more angry and doing everything they can to break our hunger strike. Honestly, I wish I was dead,” Aamer said from the camp. The speech was recorded the previous week, but was published on Saturday after the newspaper received the recording.
He also alleged that nurses at the prison are discarding their name tags prior to entering the camp so as not to be identified by prisoners, who could potentially file complaints against them.
Anne Richardson, a lawyer for one of the striking detainees, told RT at the beginning of June that “they have made conditions at times freezing cold for them in the cells,” saying that her client was now “skin and bones.” She described their having to choose between hygiene and sleep, as showers were sometimes scheduled in the middle of the night.
“These gruesome new details show just how bad things are in Guantanamo. The whole thing is at breaking point. Clearly the US military is under enormous pressure and doing everything it can to hurt the men and break the hunger strike,” UK attorney Clive Stafford Smith told the Observer on Saturday.
104 inmates are currently hunger-striking, with 44 being subjected to force-feeding. Shaker Aamer has been cleared for release twice since 2007.
British Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama discussed his internment during the G8 Summit. Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt confirmed on Tuesday that the UK “continues to make clear to the US that we want Mr. Aamer released”.
Amnesty International said on Friday that the UK must continue to apply pressure to “resolve the detention of Shaker Aamer and all other detainees held without charge or trial at Guantanamo Bay, consistent with the USA’s international human rights obligations.”
The human rights organization urged the resolution of the situation and the prioritization of human rights. “Now that Cameron has said he will write to Obama there must be no further delays. Now it is time to take action.” Amnesty International said.