Friday, June 23, 2006

Week 2 of inner ear infection, still dizzy and pukey...

Nevertheless, here are two things:


Stockwell Day, MP, P.C.
House of Commons
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6

Suite 202, 301 Main Street
Penticton BC V2A 5B7

Dear Stockwell Day,

I support the detainees Mohammad Mahjoub, Mahmoud Jaballah, and Hassan Almrei. These men's lives are in danger and they need a solution now.

Mahmoud Jaballah and Mohammad Mahjoub have been on hunger strike since May 23, with Hassan Almrei hunger striking an additional ten days. Mahjoub (held since June, 2000), Jaballah (held seven months in 1999, and since August, 2001) and Almrei (held since October 2001) are feeling not only the effects of the hunger strike, but are also sweltering in a retrofitted classroom portable which has no air conditioning. When Mr. Jaballah was removed from his cell at 2 am with breathing problems, he didn’t see a nurse until almost six hours later.

Two simple demands remain at the core of the hunger strike:

1. The men want access to a canteen (which holds snack foods), much as they had access to at Metro West Detention Centre. The government claims concerns over who would handle the detainees' money have prevented them from setting this up. The men have put forward a half dozen workable solutions, but the federal government refuses to budge. Because their daily meals do not provide enough food, the men need the canteen to stave off hunger pangs.

2. Proper phone access. At Metro West, the men could dial out and speak with anyone they chose to from early morning until early evening. Currently, the men are allowed three 20 minute calls per day. However, they must put in a written request an hour before each call is made. If, for example, they call their lawyer, and are informed s/he won't be back for ten minutes, they cannot call ten minutes later. They must put in another phone request, wait an hour, and then hope the lawyer will be there. The limited phone access sharply curtails their ability to maintain contact with their families as well.

Representatives of the Canadian Border Services Agency, which runs “Guantanamo North,” have assured campaign members that the men's health is their top priority (even though they are trying to deport them to torture). But to allow human beings to go over a month without nutrition is simply heartless. For the federal government to refuse to fix these simple problems, especially after the light that was shone on security certificates over the past month with the Supreme Court hearings, is shameful.


1 comment:

Pat said...

Hi Timothy,

I got the idea you might like to see this.

"The hunger strikes and suicides of Guantánamo bring Bobby Sands back to life.
This time around, he is not a vilified IRA "terrorist," but the venerated patron
saint of political prisoners everywhere." And now we have the "Troops Home

"What Would You Die For?" is here on

Some of the main ideas are:
Political prisoners are different.
Force-feeding is the moral equivalent of rape, and physically not only the
equivalent of torture, but torture itself.
Hunger strikers ought to be left alone, yes, even to die, if that's what they
aspire to.

Best of all possible regards,
Pat Hartman