Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Representing Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers, Maryknoll Sisters, and Maryknoll Lay Missioners
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Join the rolling fast to raise awareness of hunger strike at Guantanamo

According to this Huffington Post article, 92 men are now participating in the hunger strike at the detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The hunger strike is the detainees' response to the intolerable conditions of their situation, most notably the fact that most of the 166 detainees have never been tried. (The U.S. government says it can hold the men "indefinitely")

There have been 779 men brought to and held in Guantanamo since January 2002, all of whom were Muslim; 604 men have been transferred from Guantanamo. Nine prisoners have died there.

Witness Against Torture (WAT) is coordinating a “rolling fast” for the duration of the hunger strike.

To participate in the rolling fast, WAT asks for three things:

1) Fast from midnight to midnight on one day

2) Write to one prisoner at Guantánamo -- Download and send this letter to a man detained in Guantánamo. (Arabic version also available.)

3) Make three phone calls:

  • Call the White House and insist that President Obama fulfill his promise to close Guantanamo: 202-456-1111, 202-456-1414 or submit a comment online.
  • Call the U.S. Southern Command to decry the conditions at Guantanamo: 305-437-1213
  • Call the Department of Defense: 703-571-3343

Talking points: “I am concerned about the expanding hunger strike and I appreciate General Kelly’s (Southcom Commander) recent acknowledgement before Congress of the 'devastating' situation at Guantanamo. We are concerned over the costs associated, both financially and what it does to the image of the U.S., and concerned about the repercussions for our troops and what it means to ask young kids to force feed people we admit are innocent. I ask that, in the face of the failure of our elected officials to close Guantanamo, our military will refuse to participate in force feedings.”

Additionally, if you have the time and the inclination, WAT encourages you to take a photo of yourself holding a sign indicating what day of the hunger strike you are fasting on (or just a photo of the sign) AND/OR to write just a couple of sentences reflecting on the day’s experience. Send the photo or brief reflection to witnesstorture@gmail.com, or post it directly on to the WAT Facebook page. WAT would like to be able to use the photo and/or reflection on its website and Tumblr.

Lastly, if you do some public recognition of the fast, please let WAT know. If you would like to participate in the rolling fast, please look at the calendar here and send an email to witnesstorture@gmail.com indicating which day/s you can fast, make phone calls, and write a letter to a prisoner at Guantánamo. Once you sign up, you will receive a confirmation email and a then a reminder email the day before you fast.

Check the Witness Against Torture page to learn how to sign up.

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