Archive for May, 2013

Torture in US Domestic Prisons

Monday, May 6th, 2013

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Engines of torture when the tubes are forced down a person’s throat who is conscious and refuses them.

The perception by many people in the US, even the relatively small number who are aware of the torture at Guantanamo, is that torture of all kinds by the US has been an aberration since the wars of aggression in this century.

The truth is that torture is practiced in US domestic prisons and was just exported to prisoners taken in US wars.  Only lately, and due to media coverage of the current, but not the only, hunger strike by many of the prisoners at Guantanamo, is there much attention on torture in domestic prisons.

Here is an excerpt from an article by Ann Neumann published on 4 May 2013 in Waging Nonviolence:

“The prisoner has lost half his body weight and four teeth to malnutrition. He and his lawyer have gone to court to stop the force-feedings, but a judge ruled against him in March. If I asked you to guess where Coleman is being held, you’d likely say Guantánamo — ‘America’s offshore war-on-terror camp’ — where a mass hunger strike of 100 prisoners has brought the ethics of force-feeding to American newspapers, if not American consciences. Twenty-five of those prisoners are now being manually fed with tubes.

“But William Coleman is not at Guantánamo. He’s in Connecticut. The prison medical staff force-feeding him are on contract from the University of Connecticut, not the U.S. Navy. Guantánamo is not an anomaly. Prisoners — who are on U.S. soil and not an inaccessible island military base — are routinely and systematically force-fed every day.”

You can read the entire article here.

Neumann reiterates the facts about force feeding being torture.  The US is in contravention of international law and of American Medical Association standards.

What can we do to stop barbaric practices of the US government at home and abroad.  What are you doing to stop them?

Not Till US Drones Stop Killing

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Below is Jack’s response to a request to sign a petition about background checks for guns:

I would have signed this years ago but that is before I learned my country is murdering innocent people with drones.

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A child killed by drone attack

Given that,  it would be hypocritical to work to stop gun violence here while my country is the source of Drone violence. The commandment, “THOU SHALL NOT KILL” makes no reference to venue. I will sign your petition in the public square and urge all my friends along, as soon as the United States confirms it has discontinued the killer drone project. Until then, I am very sorry about your friend and I also regret the innocent people who have died via US drones. Drones make the entire policy of my country very sad indeed.

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 A mother and child who died when drones struck

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Funerals of persons killed in drone strikes

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Another  child killed in a drone strike with grieving relatives.

 

Force Feeding at Guantanamo is Torture

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Rupert Coville, spokesman for the UN high commissioner said in a report published by Agence France Presse that the UN “‘bases its stance on that of the World Medical Association” which, declared in 1991 that forcible feeding is ‘never ethically acceptable'”.

prisoner

The World Medical Association states:

“Even if intended to benefit, feeding accompanied with threats, coercion, force or use of physical restraints is a form of inhuman and degrading treatment. Equally unacceptable is the force feeding of some detainees in order to intimidate or coerce other hunger strikers to stop fasting.”

The prisoners have reported to their lawyers that they are restrained painfully as well as having thick tubes forced down their noses.

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Restraint Chair Used in Forcing Food Down Prisoners’ Noses

“If it’s perceived as torture or inhuman treatment—and it’s the case, it’s painful—then it is prohibited by international law,” said Coville.    See article here.

The US has committed many crimes against these prisoners; this torture is just a continuation of an eleven year history of torture in addition to indefinite imprisonment without charge.  The time may come when this country will have to pay a very high price for these crimes against humanity.