Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Gitmo North Hunger Strike Update: "We are slowly dying in here..."


"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 Jaballah and 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. The need to check weight, pulse, blood pressure, respiration, electrolytes, and sodium and potassium levels, among other standards, is essential in preventing the kind of traumatic incident that occurred this past weekend.

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