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Saturday, Aug 23rd

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Hunger striker writes NY Times OpEd: Gitmo Is Killing Me

Hunger strikerOne man here weighs just 77 pounds. Another, 98. Last thing I knew, I weighed 132, but that was a month ago. I’ve been on a hunger strike since Feb. 10 and have lost well over 30 pounds. I will not eat until they restore my dignity.

I’ve been detained at Guantánamo for 11 years and three months. I have never been charged with any crime. I have never received a trial.

I could have been home years ago — no one seriously thinks I am a threat — but still I am here. Years ago the military said I was a “guard” for Osama bin Laden, but this was nonsense, like something out of the American movies I used to watch. They don’t even seem to believe it anymore. But they don’t seem to care how long I sit here, either.

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Palestinian teen protester killed by Israeli army fire

Palestinain teen shotIsraeli forces shot and killed a teenage Palestinian protester during a clash in the West Bank late Wednesday, raising tensions already heightened by the death of a Palestinian prisoner and renewed fighting between Israel and Gaza militants.

The late night killing capped a day of rioting throughout the West Bank in protest at the prisoner's death from cancer and raised the likelihood of further unrest in the Palestinian territories Thursday.

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British troops recount human rights abuses at US detention facility in Iraq

Camp NamaBritish soldiers and air personnel who helped to operate a secretive US detention facility in Baghdad that was at the centre of some of the most serious human-rights abuses to occur in Iraq after the invasion have, for the first time, spoken about abuses they witnessed there.

Members of two RAF squadrons and one Army Air Corps squadron were given guard and transport duties at the secret prison, the Guardian has established. Many of the detainees were brought to the facility by snatch squads formed from Special Air Service and Special Boat Service squadrons. The abuses the soldiers and airmen say they saw included:

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Undocumented workers' grim reality: speak out on abuse and risk deportation

Undocumented workers in USMillions of workers like Zavala toil in industries like construction, casual day labour, agriculture or the food industry across America and, as Zavala and many others have found, standing up and complaining can result in an employer reporting them to the immigration authorities.

Experts point out that some employers are all too eager to take on undocumented workers and exploit them for their willingness to work long hours for low pay. If no one complains, questions about immigration papers are rarely asked. But if problems do arise – such as being injured on the job or workers demanding better pay or access to a union – a swift phone call to the police or ICE will result in the difficult employees being deported.

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Gitmo hunger strike includes 21 inmates

GitmoThe number of detainees conducting a hunger strike at the prison at Guantanamo, Cuba, has risen to 21, U.S. military officials say. At least two of the hunger strikers have required treatment at the prison hospital at the U.S. base at Guantanamo, The Miami Herald reported Tuesday.

As of Monday morning, eight of the 166 people held at the military base in Cuba on terrorism-related charges had missed enough meals and lost enough body weight to require nutritional supplements, the military said in a statement.

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My Lai 45 Years Later—And the Unknown Atrocities of Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan

My Lai massacreForty-five years ago today, March 16, roughly 100 U.S. troops were flown by helicopter to the outskirts of a small Vietnamese hamlet called My Lai in Quang Ngai Province, South Vietnam. Over a period of four hours, the Americans methodically slaughtered more than 500 Vietnamese civilians. Along the way, they also raped women and young girls, mutilated the dead, systematically burned homes, and fouled the area’s drinking water.

On this day, I think back to an interview I conducted several years ago with a tiny, wizened woman named Tran Thi Nhut. She told me about hiding in an underground bunker as the Americans stormed her hamlet and how she emerged to find a scene of utter horror: a mass of corpses in a caved-in trench and, especially, the sight of a woman’s leg sticking out at an unnatural angle which haunted her for decades. She lost her mother and a son in the massacre. But Tran Thi Nhut never set foot in My Lai. She lived two provinces north, in a little hamlet named Phi Phu which—she and other villagers told me—lost more than 30 civilians to a 1967 massacre by U.S. troops.

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U.S. acknowledges 14 on hunger strike at Guantánamo prison

Hunger strikeThe U.S. military said Friday that it had designated 14 captives at the Guantánamo detention center as “hunger strikers,” and that six of them were being force-fed through tubes in the first admission of a protest claimed by defense attorneys.

The acknowledgement came a day after 51 attorneys wrote Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel of their “urgent and grave concern about a mass hunger strike taking place at the prison, now in its second month.” They sought Hagel’s intervention in “a serious threat to the health and life of detainees.”

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