Jun 022013

Detainees held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility have published a chilling plea in hopes of having the military appoint a new team of physicians to oversee their care during a hunger strike that currently involves eight out of every ten prisoners.

A letter signed by the names of nine Gitmo detainees and the attorneys for several others was released on Friday, imploring the United States to replace the doctors at the facility with ones impartial to the wishes of the US government.

The letter, dated May 30 and first obtained by the Guardian’s Spencer Ackerman, asks the military doctors currently assigned to Gitmo to relinquish their role more than 100 days after detainees at the facility first began refusing meals. As many as 130 of the 166 prisoners began participating in the hunger strike since February, and the scandal has attracted the attention of the government’s top officials, including President Barack Obama.

“I do not wish to die, but I am prepared to run the risk that I may end up doing so, because I am protesting the fact that I have been locked up for more than a decade, without a trial, subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment and denied access to justice. I have no other way to get my message across. You know the authorities have taken everything from me,” the letter begins.

“For this reason, I am respectfully requesting that independent medical professionals be allowed into Guantanamo to treat me, and that they be given full access to my medical records, in order to determine the best treatment for me.”

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