News / USA

    Doctors Press Obama on Guantanamo Hunger Strike

    The interior of an unoccupied communal cellblock is seen at Camp VI, a prison used to house detainees at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, March 5, 2013.
    The interior of an unoccupied communal cellblock is seen at Camp VI, a prison used to house detainees at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, March 5, 2013.
    Selah Hennessy
    More than 150 doctors have called for Guantanamo Bay detainees on a hunger strike to receive independent medical care.

    The call for independent medical care was made in an open letter published in the British medical journal The Lancet on Wednesday.

    “It is a general principle of medical ethics worldwide, as enforced by the World Medical Association and supported by the U.N., that it is an assault to force treatment on an unwilling but competent patient,” said Britain-based doctor Frank Arnold, one of those who signed the letter. 

    Among the166 detainees being held at Guantanamo, more than 100 are on a hunger strike, some for as long as five months.

    Military officials said several dozen of the detainees have received "enteral feeding," in which liquid is administered by a tube that is inserted through the nose and down the throat.

    Last month, 13 of the detainees wrote to a British newspaper, The Guardian, asking to see civilian doctors. They said the military doctors were force-feeding them against their will and said they did not trust them.

    “These hunger strikers need doctors they can trust. They cannot trust doctors that are working from a script written for them by non-medics, who are the camp commanders and their superiors at the Pentagon,” said Arnold.

    The detainees are protesting the U.S. government's failure to put terror suspects on trial and release the dozens of detainees who already have been cleared.  

    A Pentagon spokesman told VOA Wednesday the Defense Department does not answer letters addressed to government agencies via the press.

    U.S. Navy Captain Robert Durand, a spokesman for the Guantanamo facility, said detainees are force-fed to prevent endangering their health. He said it is the job of supervisors at Guantanamo to make sure detainees are held in a safe and humane manner.

    Douglas Murray, associate director at the Henry Jackson Society research group in London, said officials at Guantanamo Bay should be allowed to make the best decisions for the detainees without outside interference.

    “As far as I am aware, and I think as far as any impartial observer is aware, there is more than adequate medical expertise available at Guantanamo Bay," said Murray. "It is a facility which passes, and indeed I think exceeds, the norms of most prison facilities.”

    When U.S. President Barack Obama took office in 2009 he pledged to close Guantanamo, and recently has restated that goal.

    You May Like

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora