A political analyst said that the appalling conditions of the detainees at the US’s prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are only the tip of an iceberg, given Washington’s flagrant violation of human rights across the world. “It [Guantanamo] is the tip of the iceberg because America runs so many other prisons around the world in various countries,” Stephen Lendman, a renowned author and Research Associate of the Center for Research on Globalization, said on Saturday. He added that Guantanamo is “America’s ugly public face.” Lendman also criticized US President Barack Obama for failing to deliver on his pledge to close the prison. The analyst noted that over half of the Guantanamo detainees have been cleared for release but the United States is not releasing them for reasons that “simply do not hold water.” “These men have literally given up hope. They are willing to starve themselves to death. It’s a better fate than staying in Guantanamo forever,” Lendman commented. He described the
force-feeding of the inmates as a horrible procedure that amounts to torture. The official number of the detainees on hunger strike at the United States’ notorious Guantanamo Bay prison has reached 100, according to a US official. Lawyers for the detainees contest the official numbers, and state that the US military is undercounting the number of hunger strikers. They say that some 130 prisoners are actually taking part in the hunger protest. Most of the 166 detainees being held at the Guantanamo Bay prison have been cleared for release or were never charged - a situation that has attracted outcry from certain countries and human rights organizations. International Committee of the Red Cross President Peter Maurer has urged Obama’s administration to mend the situation in Guantanamo and criticized force-feeding as a solution to the hunger strike. "If we see a hunger strike today, we interpret this as a symptom, as an indicator about the lack of perspective that those detainees have, the impression of
an American government which does not follow up on promises, promises that have been made on transfers," Maurer said at a news conference on April 11. Upon taking office, Obama signed an executive order to stop military commissions in order to close down the Guantanamo prison by 2010. However, this has not happened yet.