It’s hard to believe that just 90 miles south of Florida, prisoners at the United States Guantanamo Bay are being inhumanely force fed in a process that allows for them to be shackled into restraint chairs while a tube is forced inside them.
With Ramadan, a month of fasting, upon Muslims, many citizens have increased their scrutiny on the United States government for allowing, what government authorities in Guantanamo Bay call a “humane, high-quality medical care.”
Of the 166 detainees being held at the naval base in Cuba, a reported 120 are currently engaged in a hunger strike protesting inhumane treatment and indefinite detention. Forty-four of these men are being force fed. The process involves each detainee to undergo two force feedings each night. Each session takes up to 30 minutes and is followed by a two-hour period in a “dry cell” without water, in an attempt to limit vomiting.
According to a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine, hunger strikers are not attempting to commit suicide. Rather, they are willing to risk death if their demands are not met. Their goals is not to die but to have perceived injustices addressed. The motivation resembles that of a person who finds kidney dialysis intolerable and discontinues it, knowing that he will die. Refusal of treatment with the awareness that death will soon follow is not suicide, according to both the U.S. Supreme Court and international medical ethics.
Currently, people around the world are pushing for Obama to step up and call off the force-feeding, as he is the only one with authority who can call this cruel and injust act off.