As the Guantanamo hunger strike enters its 121th day, the US House of Representatives has voted to keep the notorious detention center open in Cuba, blocking the use of taxpayer money to house any detainees transferred out of the prison.
Although President Barack Obama said last month that he was determined to close the facility, where over 100 inmates have been on hunger strike since early February, the recent vote upheld a law blocking the use of taxpayer funds to build or renovate facilities in the US to house suspected terrorists and other prisoners from Guantanamo Bay.
Obama first promised to shut down Guantanamo in 2008. Since then, relatives of detainees have held out hope they would be reunited with their husbands, brothers and sons. One family of a Yemeni inmate told RT ' s sister channel Russia Al Youm it is unlikely they would ever see their loved ones ever again.
Obama’s recent promise to lift restrictions on Yemeni Gitmo detainees was greeted with sneers in the country. “America’s support for human rights is merely a show! It only cares about its own people, while it destroys the rights of all others. We’ve been suffering for 13 years now, ” the mother of Abdurrakhman ash - Shbaty, a Yemeni terror suspect kept at the controversial detention center since 2002, said.
And after ash - Shbaty was arrested, his entire family was accused of terror links. “We’re tired of these nonstop lies. Obama remembers about Guantanamo only during election campaigns and on holidays. He promised to shut it down several times and to forward their cases to their home countries. These are all lies, ” ash - Shbaty’s brother said.
Last month, Amnesty International listed the indefinite detention of 166 prisoners at Guantanamo as America’s primary human rights concern in the US chapter of its annual report for 2012. The human rights group has also kept count of the death toll at Guantanamo: “Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, a Yemeni national who repeatedly expressed distress at his indefinite detention without charge or trial, died during the year, bringing to nine the number of detainees known to have died at Guantanamo since January 2002, ” the report said.
Less than a week ago, the protesting Guantanamo detainees issued a plea urging the US Military to appoint a new team of physicians to oversee their care during the hunger strike, which currently involves 8 of every 10 prisoners.