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3 Aug, 2013

Fasting to highlight plight of the Guantánamo hunger strikers | The Guardian

For the last week I have been fasting in solidarity with the men on hunger strike in the US prison at Guantánamo Bay, forgoing all food and taking only liquids. I began day one thinking about a book I had recently read: former detainee Ahmed Errachidi’s The General. Errachidi had worked as a chef in London for 18 years but was sold for a bounty to US forces after he travelled to Pakistan. He was finally released from the prison in 2007, but not before he had been held in isolation for three years and tortured relentlessly. The book describes his five and a half years in Guantánamo, being abused along with his fellow detainees.

Reading about his being delivered into the hands of sadists who inflicted punishment day after day and told him his case would never come to trial, you can begin to understand why the hunger strikers in Guantánamo feel they have no other recourse. I thought about what it would take to endure a real, long-term hunger strike with all the pain – physical and emotional – involved. How hard it must be when you have no idea how long your strike must last – an indefinite fast – just to secure some basic justice.

Read the rest: I’m fasting to highlight the plight of the Guantánamo hunger strikers | Julie Christie | Comment is free | The Guardian.