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'Humane' Force-feeding Begins At Guantanamo Bay

Is it ethical to force-feed the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay?

I remind you that at least half of the inmates are innocent of any wrongdoing (Afghan warlords turned random people in for the reward money). The wingnuts insist that because some of the men previously released joined al Qaeda to seek revenge, we can't let anyone go! And we can't try the valid cases in U.S. courts because so much evidence has been compromised by torture and would be inadmissible, anyway. Oops!

Oh, and in case you forgot, we are the alleged "good guys" in this gruesome situation:

Emaciated and frail, more than 100 men lie on concrete floors of freezing, solitary cells in Guantánamo, silently starving themselves to death.

Stripped of all possessions, even basics such as a sleeping mat or soap, they lie listlessly as guards periodically bang on the steel doors and shout at them to move an arm or leg to prove they are still conscious.

The notorious detention centre is in crisis, suffering a rebellion of unprecedented scale, with most of the camp on lockdown and around two-thirds of the 166 detainees on hunger strike.

This week 40 American military nurses were drafted in to try to stem a mass suicide. The last Brit inside, Shaker Aamer, has said he is prepared to strike to his death.

The US administration does its best to keep prying eyes from the unfolding tragedy but the The Independent has obtained first-hand reports.

Twice a day, the 23 most weak are taken into a room. Their wrists, arms, stomach, legs and head are strapped to a chair and repeated attempts are made to force a tube down their noses into their stomachs. It is an ugly procedure as they gag and wretch, blood dripping from their nostrils.

According to international standards,prisoners are entitled to refuse food and drink. But President Obama has ordered the force-feeding.

Without any decisive action or announced intent to change the situation that has driven the prisoners to this point, that order strikes me as highly unethical.

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