Hunger strikers at Gitmo

 

HeraldEd@MiamiHerald.com

Even as the United States released a report highlighting human-rights abuses around the world, it faced an embarrassing problem of its own at Guantánamo Bay, where the number of hunger strikers at the U.S. detention facility keeps getting bigger.

Nearly half of the captives, 77 out of 166, are now considered hunger strikers. Seventeen are being force-fed to stay alive.

Detainees complain about the conditions at the camp, but the basic issue is desperation over their hopeless plight. At least 56 captives have been cleared for release, but congressional restrictions on transfers and U.S. inability to arrange for safe repatriation or third-country resettlement keeps them confined. Others have been held without charges for years.

If the United States wants to point the finger of guilt at other countries for failing to uphold the highest human-rights standards, it must live up to those same standards.

Guantánamo is seen around the world as a symbol of injustice. As long as the prison exists, this country’s reputation for believing in justice and fair treatment will be tarnished.

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