Monthly Archives: July 2013

Hunger and Justice

“You’re not gonna die, we’re gonna feed you up your ass.”

— Interrogator at Guantanamo Bay (name redacted) to Mohamedou Ould Slahi.

Sometime in the next month a gang of armed men will crash into your home in the dead of night. They will terrorize your family, trash the place, and drag you off, hooded and shackled.

You will be thrown into the back of a truck where you will receive head slaps and kicks should you try to communicate with your captors.

Disoriented, unable to determine your location, your clothes will be cut off of you and you will be dumped into an unheated cell and left for hours or weeks. You will be fed but not permitted to wash or brush your teeth.

One day you will be administered a laxative with your meal. Once your bowels have been voided, you will be diapered, hooded again, and have headphones placed over your ears. You will effectively be in a state of sensory deprivation. You may be drugged without your consent.

Loaded onto a plane, you will travel for so long that you lose sense of time. You will not know where you are going. Inevitably your diaper will become heavy with urine and excrement.

24 hours or more later you will arrive in a place you have never seen before. You will be compelled to submit to a body cavity search by hostile guards who do not speak your language and do not understand you.

You will be placed in a new cell and left to rot for a decade, never having been charged with any offense.

You will be harassed on a daily basis. Some days the lights will not go off. Extremes of heat and cold, loud noise and music, and interruption of natural sleep cycles will fray your nerves. You may begin to experience hallucinations.

During interrogation sessions you will be sexually humiliated, screamed at, and beaten in such a way as to ensure that no marks will be visible. Interrogators will threaten your family with violence. Should you pray aloud, your prayers will be mocked.

Any time you are not completely passive and compliant, you will be subjected to physical attack. As an additional punishment for disobedience you will be stripped naked and forced to assumed “stress positions” for hours on end.

Should your captors decide that you have valuable information you may be taken into international waters where agents of another country, unconcerned about bruises, beat you for hours and force you to drink seawater.

When you’ve reached the limit of your ability to endure this torture you may decide to go on hunger strike in a desperate effort to call attention to the violations of your basic human rights.

Because dead prisoners are seen as an inconvenience in terms of public relations, you will not be afforded this minimal gesture of autonomy.

Instead you will be force-fed by medics who think that you are a “terrorist”.

Good luck.

see also

“Those who would come after”

Statement from Edward Snowden in Moscow

Monday July 1, 21:40 UTC

One week ago I left Hong Kong after it became clear that my freedom and safety were under threat for revealing the truth. My continued liberty has been owed to the efforts of friends new and old, family, and others who I have never met and probably never will. I trusted them with my life and they returned that trust with a faith in me for which I will always be thankful.

On Thursday, President Obama declared before the world that he would not permit any diplomatic “wheeling and dealing” over my case. Yet now it is being reported that after promising not to do so, the President ordered his Vice President to pressure the leaders of nations from which I have requested protection to deny my asylum petitions.

This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile. These are the old, bad tools of political aggression. Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me.

For decades the United States of America has been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum. Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the U.S. in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is now being rejected by the current government of my country. The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon. Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum.

In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be.

I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many.

Edward Joseph Snowden

Monday 1st July 2013

Note also Article 12:

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.