Friday, September 14, 2007

Waiting to die.

An al-Jazeera journalist captured in Afghanistan six years ago and sent to Guantanamo Bay is close to becoming the fifth detainee at the US naval base to take his own life, according to a medical report written by a team of British and American psychiatrists

Sami al-Haj, a Sudanese national, is 250 days into a hunger strike which he began in protest over his detention without charge or trial in January 2002. But British and American doctors, who have been given exclusive access to his interview notes, say there is very strong evidence that he has given up his fight for life, experiencing what doctors recognise as "passive suicide", a condition suffered by female victims of Darfur.

Dr Dan Creson, a US psychiatrist who has worked with the United Nations in Darfur, said Mr Haj was suffering from severe depression and may be deteriorating to the point of imminent death.

He said the detainee's condition was similar to that of Darfuri women in Sudan whose mind suddenly experiences an irreversible decline after enduring months of starvation and abuse. He said: "In the midst of rape, slow starvation, and abject humiliation, they did whatever they could to survive and save their children; then, suddenly, something happened in their psyche, and, without warning, they would just sit down with their small children beneath the first small area of available shade and with no apparent emotion wait for death."

...This is shocking, there is no justice and what America is doing to Sami al-Haj is evil. We all know that America hates al-Jazeera, it hates the television news broadcast around the world because it makes people think. America has attacked al-Jazeera offices before with bombs to try and finish the news organization off. To hold someone without charge and trial is immoral and his detention is a political move against the independent news reporting of al-Jazeera. American websites, like the free webpage hosting site Webspawner , do not even like to mention al-Jazeera as I noticed when a link was removed on a page I created.

To induce such depression in Sami al-Haj is a slow,lingering death. I fear that he has passed the point of no return and is simply waiting to die. Most suicides are consensual but his imminent death is a constructive suicide brought about by America and her illegal Guantanamo Bay detention camp. The force feeding was never the answer and is against his human rights - human rights that do not exist at Guantanamo Bay. Nobody should be held without charge and a fair trial, that is not a lot to ask, even of a big bully like America.
The American Committee to Free Sami Al-Haj has just launched an online petition to the U.S. Congress demanding Sami’s immediate release and an investigation of the Bush Administration’s campaign against Al Jazeera.
Thank you for the link Sara, I have signed the online petition and added my name to the other 139 people who have taken the trouble in this shocking tale of man's inhumanity to man.
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