On Monday, the frenetic gossipy world of nonsense and distraction that, rather sadly and shamefully, constitutes most of what passes for news and culture these days paused for a moment to reflect upon the publication of the most significant document that will be published this year — the latest climate change report prepared by the climate scientists of the IPCC (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), the United Nations body founded in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to provide “regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation.”
In 2022, when it’s often difficult to get people to pay attention to anything for more than a few minutes, when the country faces an economic crisis unprecedented in our lifetimes, and the spectre of total environmental collapse looms ever closer, it seems to be extraordinarily anachronistic for the British establishment to insist that there must a ten-day period of national mourning following the death of Queen Elizabeth II last Thursday, at the age of 96, after 70 years on the throne.
Three weeks since the UK experienced its hottest weather ever, with temperatures hitting 40°C, it’s become clear that that was just a spike in a long hot summer in which, for the first time ever in my 37-year history of living in London, the weather has turned hostile.
Last week, as the mercury started to rise in the UK, and sober weather-watchers warned that, for the first time ever, temperatures might reach 40°C in the UK, the default position of TV’s weathermen and women was to talk of records being broken, as though extreme heat was some kind of Olympic sporting event, and the plucky British weather was some sort of super-athlete, whose ‘achievement’ was to be celebrated.
The most notorious U.S. detention site in the world, Guantanamo Bay, still holds 40 prisoners. Most of the 800 men shipped to Guantanamo Bay since it was opened under George W. Bush in 2002 were sold to U.S. forces for bounty by Pakistani and Afghan officials, militia and warlords. They were stripped of their legal rights, held for years without being charged or given a fair and open trial. Not only is the detention center a recruiting dream for radical jihadists, it costs American taxpayers $0.5 billion a year, roughly $11 million dollars for each detainee.
I’m delighted that the video is now available of my speaking event, “Guantánamo, Torture and the Trump Agenda,” at Revolution Books in Harlem, which took place last week as part of my annual visit to the US to call for the closure of the prison on and around the anniversary of its opening — on January 11.
President Obama promised during his campaign that he would close the infamous Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. Now, the United States is well into the process of electing its next president and the future of the prison remains uncertain. Only 80 detainees remain, but the conditions they currently face and their future are just as unclear. RT America’s Simone Del Rosario went to Guantanamo Bay to investigate how and if the prison will be soon shut down, and to see what conditions those detainees are living in.
Democracynow.org – British resident Shaker Aamer has been freed from Guantánamo after more than 13 years behind bars. Aamer had been cleared for release since 2007, but the Pentagon kept him locked up without charge. During his time in captivity, Aamer claims he was subjected to abuses including torture, beatings and sleep deprivation. At one point, he lost half his body weight while on a hunger strike. Aamer is en route to London where he’ll rejoin his wife and four children. “If you think about how much our world has changed, it is like they’re dropping them into a completely different place with very little support, and there’s no right to a remedy for the allegations of torture—which are absolutely credible—for the prolonged arbitrary detention and for any other violations that happened,” says our guest Widney Brown, director of programs at Physicians for Human Rights.
Below is a powerful new animated film, six minutes in length, which tells the story of the hunger strike at Guantánamo that began in February, and involved the majority of the 164 prisoners still held over the six-month period that followed. At its height, 46 prisoners were being force-fed, and even though just 17 prisoners are still taking part in the hunger strike, 16 of them are being force-fed. Force-feeding is a brutal process, condemned by the medical profession, but it is difficult to understand what is happening at Guantánamo because no images are available of prisoners being force-fed.
I wrote the following article for the “Close Guantánamo” website, which I established in January 2012 with US attorney Tom Wilner. Please join us — just an email address is required to be counted amongst those opposed to the ongoing existence of Guantánamo, and to receive updates of our activities by email.
On Monday, President Obama fulfilled the first of three promises he made a month ago to resume releasing prisoners from Guantánamo, by appointing an envoy at the State Department to deal with prisoner transfers.
I have just received a brief message from a credible source inside Guantánamo, about the situation in the prison today, which I wanted to make available because it exposes how four prisoners are close to death, as a result of the prison-wide hunger strike that is on its 80th day, and yet the guard force are behaving with brutality and indifference.
A political analyst tells Press TV that there is a kind of very brutal attempt to clamp down on the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay to try and stop them from being on hunger strike.
Now more than 100 detainees at the United States’ infamous Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba are staging a hunger strike to protest disrespect of the Qur’an and confiscation of personal items. The International Committee of the Red Cross has increased its visits to Guantanamo, raising concerns about the health of the hunger strikers.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Andy Worthington, from Close Guantanamo Campaign, to further discuss the issue.
Injustices do not become any less unjust the longer they are not addressed, and when it comes to the “war on terror” launched by President Bush following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, those injustices continue to fester, and to poison America’s soul.
America’s Indefinitely Detained
January 11, 2013 will mark 11 years since the United States opened the Guantánamo Bay Detention Center. Almost 800 suspected militants have been held at the prison in that time. Despite the White House’s refrain that the administration “remains committed to closing the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay,” 166 individuals still remain incarcerated. Continue reading →