Guantanamo Prisoners Want Independent Doctors

Hunger strikers says military physicians have conflict of interest

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted May 31, 2013 5:59 PM CDT

(Newser) – Detainees at Guantanamo Bay on a hunger strike have written a letter to their military physicians to demand independent doctors, reports the Guardian. The 13 detainees who signed it—more than 100 in all are refusing food—say they can't trust the military doctors because they must do the bidding of their superiors. The detainees object to "extremely painful" force-feedings and say it's unethical for the doctors to order them against their patients' wishes. The prisoners don't want to die, the letter states, but they're willing to risk doing so in a hunger strike to make their plight public.

The letter also tries to appeal to the doctors' consciences. "Whether you continue in the military or return to civilian practice, you will have to live with what you have done and not done here at Guantánamo for the rest of your life," it states. "You can make a difference. You can choose to stop actively contributing to the abusive conditions I am currently enduring." The Guardian has the full text.

Protesters tion demanding the release of Yemeni detainees in Guantanamo Bay in front of the U.S. embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, on April 16, 2013.   (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
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