Another Guantanamo Bay Detainee – Sami Haj

22 Jun

“For more than four years many of us have been isolated in a small cell, less that 10ft by 6ft, with the intense neon lights on 24 hours a day. Many of us are not allowed to exercise outside these cells for more than one hour, just once a week. We are provided with food and drinks which are not suitable for the iguanas and rats that live beside us on Torture Island.”

– Sami al-Hajj: reporting on life in Gitmo from Uprooted Palestinian Blogger

The latest news according to Associated Press from The Age: Guantanamo Bay may be closed and its detainees may be transferred to other Defence Department facilities though the White House has denied that there is no meeting to discuss the move.

While David Hicks is now back in Australia, the prison centre still holds 380 alleged terrorists. One of them is Sami al Haj, an Al Jazeera journalist, from Sudan. Like Hicks, he has been detained in Guantánamo for more than five years without trial while working as a cameraman on the war in Afghanistan.

His London-based lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith said, “There is no evidence that Sami has committed any crime.”

Sami is currently suffering from serious health problems including a need for lifelong medication for his throat cancer since 1998 which was refused to him since his detention by the prison authorities. He began a hunger strike on January 7, 2007, which marks the fifth anniversary of his transfer by the
Pakistan authorities to U.S. custody. By the 21st day , the prison authorities began to force feed him which violates the Tokyo Declaration.

His hunger strike has irked the authorities who decides to punish him by removing his bare essentials including his spectacles.

Currently the Sudanese government, the Qatari government, Al Jazeera, Reporters Without Borders, the Committee for the Protection of Journalists, and the Sudanese Union of Journalists are all demanding the immediate release of Sami al Haj from Guantánamo.

edited from Prisoner 345.net, the Campaign website to free Sami Haj

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