Indefinite Detention & Force-Feeding               Are Torture!

Pack the CourtDemand Justice for Gitmo Detainees

US Activist on long-term fast to Undergo “Forced-Feeding” in Solidarity with Guantánamo Prisoners on Hunger Strike


Friday, October 18 at US District Court

333 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, D.C

Enter court at 9 am; Nasal tube feeding & vigil at 11 am

Beginning last February, more than 100 men at Guantánamo engaged in a hunger strike to protest their indefinite detention.  To try to break the protest, the US military subjected dozens of the hunger strikers to the cruel and degrading practice of nasogastric force-feeding.

On October 18, the Federal Court of Appeals in Washington, DC will hear a case, first ruled on in July, seeking an injunction against force-feeding at Guantánamo on the grounds that it violates human rights and the right of religious worship.  The case goes to the heart of the evil of the prison, as it argues that the purpose of force-feeding is to sustain an illegal and immoral policy of indefinite detention.

Anti-torture groups are asking that we pack the courtroom to show our support for the attorneys arguing the case and their clients at Guantanamo.

We will gather at 9 am to enter court

Andrés Thomas Conteris — on day 103 of a fast on water, coconut water and vitamin/electrolyte supplements — will undergo a nasal tube feeding in solidarity with the men at Guantánamo and to dramatize the cruelty of force-feeding.  Conteris, who has lost 57 pounds, has undergone nasogastric feedings at the White House, in Oakland, California, and at US embassies in Uruguay and Argentina. Conteris, age 52, began his fast at the height of the Guantánamo hunger strike July 8, when thousands of US prisoners began hunger striking to protest the use of extended solitary confinement at Pelican Bay and other prisons.

The nasal tube feeding will begin at 11 am, directly after the hearing of the Guantanamo case

Seventeen men remain on hunger strike at Guantánamo, with sixteen force-fed. Senators Dianne Feinstein and John McCain, the American Medical Association, and the United Nations have all denounced force-feeding.

Prompted by the hunger strike and the global outcry against Guantánamo, President Obama on May 23, 2013 renewed his pledge to close the prison.  Since that time, only two prisoners, both among the 86 long cleared for release by the US government, have been freed.

Witness Against Torture and

Contact: Jeremy Varon, [email protected], 732-979-3119

Andrés Thomas Conteris, [email protected], 202-232-1999


October 17, 2013

The Aamer Appeal to stop force-feeding in Guantanamo

OEN By  (about the author)

Oct. 17, 2013 — Lawyers for   Shaker Aamer ,  the last British resident in Guantanamo Bay have filed an appeal in the case of   Shaker Aamer vs. Barack Obama,  a case that was first filed in June 2013 to halt the force-feedings of hunger strikers Aamer, Ahmed Belbacha, and Nabil Hadjarab. This is one of four consolidated appeals, one for each of four detainees, with Aamer’s being the lead case, which, if won, could end all force-feeding in the prison, a rare victory in the twelve years that Shaker Aamer has already lost.   Shaker Aamer is one of 164 detainees currently in Guantanamo Bay, and one of 84 detainees cleared for release. He has been cleared since 2007 by a military review board and again by President Obama’s inter-agency Guantanamo Review Task Force in 2010.

Original Case

In the Kessler case involving detainee Dhiab, US District Judge Gladys Kessler rejected the attempt by detainees to end force-feeding, but stated in an order that the practice is ”painful, humiliating, and degrading.” She declared that President Obama is “the one individual who does have the authority to address the issue.” It has been more than four months since President Obama’s national security speech, in which he recommitted the United States in closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay.  Nabil Hadjarab has been released to Algeria since the original case filing in July, therefore removing his name from the case.
“Although District Judge Kessler took the position that the only person who can stop the force-feeding is President Obama, we believe that the federal courts also have the power to do so, which is why we have taken the case to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals,” states Jon B. Eisenberg, a lead attorney in the case. The hearing, which has been named the “Aamer Appeal,” will hear oral argument on October 18, 2013 at the D.C. Circuit courthouse.
Legal Team for Shaker Aamer Will Argue
The lawsuit alleges two human rights violations at Guantanamo Bay: (1) force-feeding of hunger-striking detainees in order to prolong their indefinite detention and (2) deprivation of religious free exercise by denying hunger-strikers the right to pray in congregation.
Force-feeding is in violation of international law and medical ethics. The World Medical AssociationAmerican Medical AssociationThe British Medical Association, and Pre-hospital and Disaster Medicine  are among some of the medical associations who identify force-feeding as inhumane, degrading, and torture. Numerous doctors all urge the licenses of health professionals who participate in force-feeding be revoked.
All hunger strikers were forced into solitary confinement in April 2013. In order for a detainee to be taken off the hunger strikers’ list he would need to consume nine consecutive meals. Once taken off the hunger strike they were permitted into communal living. The detainees were deprived of performing nightly communal Ramadan prayers unless they stopped hunger striking, a direct violation of the  Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
The Government Contends
Attorneys for the The United States contends in a brief filed under  USCA Case #13-5223  “As non-resident aliens, they do not fall within the category of “persons” protected by RFRA.” Spanning over sixty-one pages, the United States continues to argue that “habeas may not be used,” “claim is moot,” and “the courts lack jurisdiction,” –all  phrases pointing towards a legal black hole.
Meanwhile, corporations are recognized as persons in the judicial system. Under corporate personhood, for-profit corporations are given the same rights as human beings.  This allows corporations to sue and be sued in a court in the same way as natural persons are.  As Mitt Romney infamously said during the 2012 presidential election, “Corporations are people, my friend.”  The court also expresses fear of lawsuit in the case of a death during the hunger strike, if the force-feedings are to be put on halt — a contradiction  as the Government has suggested laws do not apply to detainees.
Another dispute the Government is upholding in the dissension is that the forced-feedings are humane. ” If enteral feeding is necessary, it is administered in a humane manner through a nasogastric tube.”…”Nothing about the process described above constitutes “torture” or “cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment.” The  Government ‘s assertions are in conflict with one detainee’s confession ”During one force-feeding the nurse pushed the tube about 18 inches into my stomach, hurting me more than usual, because she was doing things so hastily,”  said Samir Moqbel in a New York Times Op-Ed.
Andres Thomas Conteris, a solidarity hunger striker for has voluntarily undergone the nasogastric procedure. He has gone more than 100 days on liquids-only. Under a physician’s care, it was recommended Conteris receive some sort of nutrition. He plans to continue his act of solidarity as long as the men in Guantanamo are protesting. He began a solidarity hunger strike on Ramadan, the same day the prisoners at Pelican Bay began theirs to meet 5 core demands. He describes the tube-feeding as “endless agony,” with each one being more excruciating than the last. He has undergone the procedure four times. The men in Guantanamo endure this torture twice a day.
We Wait
Shaker Aamer has lost 60 lbs after 252 days of the hunger strike and counting. Fifteen detainees are currently being force-fed. Aamer’s British wife and their four British-born children, reside in London, England –t he youngest, of which he has never met. Umm Johina Aamer gave birth to their son on February 14, 2002, the same day Aamer was airlifted to Guantanamo Bay from Bagram. Aamer’s oldest daughter, Johina, age fifteen, writes on July 28, 2013, “I’ve been told so many times that my Dad is returning. I can’t get my hopes up anymore, all I can do is wait.”

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GTMO has been open:

U.S. Hunger Strikers

Hunger Striker's Blog

 U.S. Faster in Solidarity w/Gitmo & Pelican Bay Prisoners


Foreground: EMT prepares the tool for the nasal intubation.       Background: U.S. Embassy, Buenos Aires, Argentina Middleground:...agony awaits. 

The feeding demo is extremely painful, yet it is done with consent. The long-term solidarity fast continues with nasogastric nourishment in front of U.S. governmental symbols of power. The twice-daily force-feeding of Gitmo hunger strikers is nonconsensual and therefore real torture by the standards sponsored by U.S. taxpayers and authorized by members of Congress who just raised the debt ceiling to nearly $17 trillion. President Obama's actions continue to belie his empty words "Close Guantánamo."  As Commander-in-Chief, he could easily order an end to what the Pentagon refuses to call "forced-feeding."   The force-feeding is premeditated  relentless forced penetration of plastic into their innermost sacred cavities !

Andrés Thomas Conteris - fasted on water and coconut water with vitamin and electrolyte supplements. Solidarity fast began July 8, 2013 with 30,000 hunger striking California prisoners urging fulfillment of 5 Core Demands of the Pelican Bay supermax prisoners.  Force-feeding protests began Sept. 6 & Sept. 25 in front of the White House & later in front of the Oakland Office of CA Dept of Corrections and Rehab (CDCR) to depict how prisoners in Guantánamo are tortured with force-feeding twice-daily and how CA prisoners as future hunger strikers have been threatened with a court order authorizing force-feeding.  On Oct 4 and Oct 8 he was tube-fed in front of the U.S. Embassies in Montevideo, Uruguay and Buenos Aires, Argentina. On Oct 15 a similar protest took place in Santiago, Chile.  On Friday, Oct 18 the feeding protest returns to Washington, DC outside a Federal Court hearing on the lawsuit challenging force-feeding in Guantánamo.  He is now on a maintenance fast losing about 1 pound per week, unlike the 5 pounds/week the first 11 weeks.  In January 2014 with the anniversary of Guantánamo on Jan. 11, the force feeding protests will recommence.  Please spread the word. 

Join a Rolling Fast

U.S. Hunger Strikers who have suspended their fast






Diane Wilson - Water only 58 days (lost 48 lbs). Diane, co-founder of CodePink and member of Veterans for Peace, suspended her hunger strike on June 27, 2013 after detention following her arrest for scaling the White House fence the day before. She faced a jury trial in DC District Court on Sept. 5th, 2013.


S. Brian Willson - Suspended Hunger Strike on June 10, 2013 after 31 days on 300cal/day, when a car accidentally hit him. Supporters continue a vigil with a rolling fast, in Portland, OR.



Elliott Adams - Went 80 days on 300 cal/day from May 18, to August 4, 2013 losing 45 lbs.   He is past President of Veterans for Peace.







Tarak Kauff - Ended fast on August 4, 2013 after 58 days on 300 cal/day since June 7.  He lost 29 lbs. On Board of Directors for Veterans for Peace.


Cynthia Papermaster - After 84 days on 300 cal/day, Cynthia suspended her  hunger strike on Sep. 6 which began June 15, 2013. Code Pink member,  lost 35 lbs. The transfer of two Algerian prisoners on Aug. 29, 2013, inspired her to suspend her fast. 

Collaborative of Organizations

Arlington West Santa Monica

- Campaign for Alternatives to

   Isolated Confinement - NY

Close Guantá

Code Pink

Global Exchange

- Fast for the Earth

- The Jericho Movement

The Justice Campaign

The London Guantánamo


Meta Peace Team: "Pursuing peace

   through active nonviolence"

- Metta Center for Nonviolence


No more Guantánamos

Nonviolence International

Nuremberg Actions

Office of the Americas

Peaceworkers USA

Save Shaker

Stop Mass Incarceration

Witness Against Torture

The World Can't Wait

Veterans for Peace

Pelican Bay Hunger Strike

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