One hundred prisoners of Guantanamo Bay are on hunger strike demanding e closure of the prison.
The hunger strike was on in February.
Now the prisoners are on hunger strike since Wednesday.
The prison authorities are force feeding the prisoners who are ill.
The hunger strike has opened two debates in the US, one whether the Doctors can forcefeed thos on strike. and whether the Government should give in to their demands and close the facility(an US euphemism for Jail).
The prison inmates get publicity and political mileage out of their strike.
For Washington it is a question of bowing down to terrorists or suspected terrorists.
The dilemma for the administration is obvious in the light of protests against Guantanamo throughout the World.
But the recent Boston Bombings does not give room for letting the suspects go away from detention camp(s).
It is difficult to identify a culprit especially a hardened Terrorist from a Normal man.
So despite ferreting out the information about the prisoners,their statements that they are not guilty, the authorities are wary of releasing them.
Because they are unsure of their innocence.
On the other hand the inhuman detention at the Prison has to be dispensed with.
Politically it is difficult for a President to go either way.
Morally it is has to closed down but the released suspect being kept under watch till they breathe their last.
May sound impractical but there it is.
And that’s how I think the issue will pan out.
Now to the question of the present Hunger strike being successful.
I doubt that it will.
Hunger strikes by themselves do not acquire force, either political or moral.
It depends on who does it.
In India it did not work with Anna Hazare , the self-styled Messiah against corruption .
Nor did it with a host of others and never it would.
For hunger strike as a tool requires a spiritual power(that is Will for those who do not believe in God) and a commitment to what they believe in.
And the Cause they fight for.
In Guantanamo case, the issue to close down is morally Right , but the unproven crime is not.
Only Mahatma Gandhi , the naked fakir of India could use hunger strikes to powerful use and it has contributed to the Freedom Struggle and eventually Freedom for India from the British.
Not every one who goes on strike is a Gandhi!
( I can hear some one saying ‘Karunanidhi!)
Bob Strong/Reuters A prisoner in a communal cellblock at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The number of hunger strikers there is a matter of dispute.
On Tuesday President Obama renewed his effort to close Guantánamo Bay prison, where 100 inmates have been staging a hunger strike, some since February. (This week Slate is publishing the memoir of a prisoner who was tortured at Guantánamo and is still being held despite a judge’s order that he be released.) In 2004, Explainer described the physiological response to fasting and answered the question of how long someone can survive without food…
From British-run prisons in Ireland todetention facilities in Israel, the hunger strike has long been a political weapon wielded by the imprisoned or the powerless. With their protest, the 100 men refusing food at Guantanamo Bay — 23 of whom are being fed via nasogastric tube — have pushed the largely forgotten issue of their indefinite detention back on Washington’s agenda.
The strike has not only energized rights activists who have long campaigned for the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, but also compelled the Obama administration to grapple with an issue that had been effectively abandoned. The president said Tuesday that he will renew efforts to shut the detention center — a challenge that, if anything, is more politically demanding than it was on his second full day in office, Jan. 22, 2009, when he signed an executive order to close it.
The protest also has reopened a debate about whether it is ethical for medical personnel at Guantanamo Bay to force-feed detainees.
The hunger strike began in early February over allegations that the guard force improperly handled Korans during searches — an accusation that the military strenuously denies. But the number of hunger strikes has since skyrocketed, and the protest has taken on broader meaning for detainees seeking to demonstrate againstthe Obama administration’s failure to make good on its promise to close Guantanamo Bay.
Additional Input from Slate.com.