I am a lawyer for Guantanamo Inmates.Here’s why Ron DeSantis doesn’t get my vote
What’s the longest time a reader has gone without eating any solid food? Until recently, it was a few hours for me. Then we went on several sympathy hunger strikes in solidarity with our Guantánamo clients. Every time I go for a week. After playing a pretty limp game of cricket for the village team, I finished second with one bear. After a week on water alone, I became a very cheap drunk.
It didn’t take me long to realize that it doesn’t make sense for clients to abuse themselves in peaceful protests if no one knows about it – although trees may fall into the forest. , who knows? Fifteen years after I brought my client’s suffering to light, I thought I had seen it all.But the Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis They may have witnessed the torture of detainees who refused food.
DeSantis has presidential ambitions, but do we really want to be leaders of the free world?
There’s no question who deserves Guinness World Records for hunger strike. My client, Ahmed Rabbani, stopped eating in February 2013 and has been protesting for seven years. Relatively docile until then, in 2005 and he participated in limited strikes in 2006, he finally decided he could no longer endure detention without trial. In 2002, he was mistaken for a terrorist called Hassan Ghul and in a “dark prison” in Kabul he was tortured for 540 days before being sent half way around the globe to Cuba.
I documented 61 different methods of abuse that Ahmed was subjected to before he went on hunger strike, and it was amazing that he was still sane. When he launched his attack in earnest, Ahmed would have died if he had not been force-fed. This can be a morally difficult question. I didn’t want him to die. However, the Istanbul Protocol makes it clear that it is unethical to force-feed a competent individual who decides to protest peacefully, even to death. The wishes of competent adult patients must be given precedence over the views of authoritative persons about what is best for them.
In the infamous Bobby Sands case, the protocol was respected by the British. For some, he was an IRA terrorist. A hero to others. He was elected a member of parliament during his hunger strike. He died at Mays Prison Hospital on May 5, 1981, at the age of 27, after fasting for 66 days. He undoubtedly achieved some of his political goals in his death.
of Guantanamo Bay, the US military has decided not to honor the protocol. That should come as little surprise. They failed to respect other provisions of the law, including the UN Convention against Torture, so why start with prohibitions that are inherently ethical?
I could have had some sympathy if the military authorities had behaved in a way that was undoubtedly considered benevolent. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.
When the hunger strike started in 2005, the reaction was reasonable enough. They acknowledged the breadth of the strike, even as the number of detainees protesting the abuse approached his 80% of the total population. When they started force-feeding, they did it as humanely as possible. I’ve witnessed this and met several clients with tubes sticking out of their noses.
However, in February 2006, General Bunz J. Craddock decided it was time to defeat the strikers. This is just as the military used other abusive methods to “break” those who resisted efforts to get them to confess to their terrorist activities. He decided to make protesting “inconvenient,” as he used the term in the media. He ordered the use of a larger tube that was painful to insert. He ordered that his 110 cm tube be removed and reinserted twice a day, after each feeding. He ordered medical professionals to force Ensure faster. bottom.
“It was quickly inconvenient and judged unworthy,” he boasted. new york times.
Even if General Craddock’s savagery was questioned, when he used his methodology to force-feed the brave and generous Yasiin Bey (the rap star formerly known as Mos Def), probably wiped out. He didn’t even get to the actual feeding stage and begged us to stop before breaking down in tears.
Thus, in October 2013, the UN Special Rapporteur stated that the force-feeding methods used in Guantanamo under General Craddock were “torture“. Ahmed Rabbani was part of the 2005-2006 hunger strike, at which time the United Nations highlighted that he had staged eight months of mass protests. It became the 62nd method of torture applied against him, every day, every day, for seven years.
Ahmed was released to Pakistan three weeks ago. He’s in rotten shape, but I hope I can help him get better. It was a box containing ENSURE PET bottles.
Until then, let’s keep the record. When Election Day rolls around, I will not be voting for Ron DeSantis. I don’t want to help get him into the White House.
Clive Stafford Smith, director of the non-profit 3DCentre (3dc.org.uk), has filed the first lawsuit against Guantanamo Bay, where he is representing detainees.