Wednesday, January 31, 2007

"We are slowly dying in here"

A few months back, I wrote about the absolutely unconscionable treatment of Security Certificate detainees at Canada's "Guantanamo North." If case you didn't catch that column, here it is.

The short story is that Canada is holding people WITHOUT CHARGES and with NO ACCESS TO THE EVIDENCE AGAINST THEM. Sorry for the screaming caps, but they are definitely merited in this situation.

Anyway, the latest update is that two of the detainees are on a hunger strike to highlight the horrific way they are being treated. And the Canadian government still doesn't give a crap about them ... so please read the press release below and take action.

I will be so ashamed to tell my children about this chapter in Canada's history. I hope it ends soon.

Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada(416) 651-5800, tasc@web.ca

January 30, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

"We are slowly dying in here..."
Weekend Scare Underscores Very Real Danger of Sudden Death for Hunger Striking Detainees at Canada's Guantanamo North. Still No Medical Monitoring After Two Months Without Food

JANUARY 30, 2007 -- "We are slowly dying in here," Mohammad Mahjoub says over the phone on day 67 of his hunger strike, day 56 for Mahmoud Jaballahand Hassan Almrei. "Our situation is very bad."

The three men, held indefinitely under the much-criticized security certificate regime of secret evidence and deportation to torture, are kept at the Kingston Immigration Holding Centre (KIHC), dubbed Guantanamo North.

Despite last Thursday's visit by Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day, who did not meet with the detainees, there has been no negotiation with the men, and no effort to end a critical situation that could turn deadly at any time.

NO MEDICAL MONITORING

Indeed, the detainees' lives are on the line as staff at the facility play a dangerous game of roulette: despite considerable medical literature spelling out the need for daily medical checks of hunger strikers who have passed day 10 without food, medical staff have NOT conducted a single physical check on any of the detainees, who are subsisting on water and juice.

... Stockwell Day did not get a full picture when he visited Guantanamo North. He was unable to taste the daily humiliation the men face at the hands of guards, nor to hear what it is like to be denied medical treatment for things like Hepatitis C, blood in the urine, or a double hernia.

Full press release and action alert here.

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