The biblical admonition “to proclaim liberty to captives” (Luke 4:18) has taken on critical urgency with respect to the 166 prisoners being held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay. To protest their unjust indefinite detention and dehumanizing mistreatment, many prisoners are now in the third month of a hunger strike, and with each passing day, their health deteriorates.
On April 13, prison guards moved prisoners from communal housing to individual cells. As some prisoners resisted, guards used less-than-lethal rounds to subdue them, according to military spokesmen. It is not known how seriously injured these prisoners may be.
Adnan Latif, who spent more than 10 years in Guantanamo without being charged, would often go on a hunger strike to protest his unjust confinement. A Yemeni citizen, poet, father and husband, Latif was subject to severe beatings, druggings and torture. He had been cleared for release at least four separate times, yet continued to be imprisoned. On Sept. 8, Latif was found dead in his cell. He is one of the nine men to die at Guantanamo. No independent investigation has been conducted into any of these deaths. In Latif’s own words, he asks: “Where is the world to save us from torture? Where is the world to save us from the fire and sadness? Where is the world to save the hunger strikers?”
How many more prisoners will die before justice is rendered on their behalf? People of faith have a special moral responsibility to make sure these men do not die. What can be done to save the lives of these prisoners?…