Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

May-01-13

Amid Massive Hunger Strike, Obama Renews Push to Close Guantanamo

President Obama announced his renewed desire to close the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay in a press conference yesterday. He said that the prison was created in an understandable reaction to the tragedy of 9/11, "but we are now over a decade out. We should be wiser. We should have more experience in how we prosecute terrorists." He would prefer that the inmates be moved to a high security prison on U.S. soil, which many in Congress oppose.

Obama continued, saying Guantanamo is costly and provocative in foreign relations: "Guantanamo is not necessary to keep America safe. It is expensive. It is inefficient. It hurts us in terms of our international standing. It lessens cooperation with our allies on counter-terrorism efforts. It is a recruitment tool for extremists. It needs to be closed." He will press Congress to lift its restriction on Pentagon intervention in Guantanamo.

The announcement came when a major hunger strike at Guantanamo that began in February escalated in recent weeks. The White House deployed a large medical team to Guantanamo to help administer life-saving nutrients to strikers. At least 100 of the 166 prisoners are now refusing food in hopes of altering the way guards treat inmates. Allegedly, guards mistreated copies of the Qu'ran belonging to some inmates several months ago. A small fraction of the inmates went on strike in February, and guards placed the participants in isolation. When participants resisted or became violent, guards fired rubber bullets. This prompted more of the prison population to refuse food in opposition of maltreatment. The Guardian argues that the strikers also cite the fact that almost half of the prisoners have been cleared for release but the government has not moved them from Guantanamo. The branch of the State Department which deals with resettlement of prisoners was shut down earlier this year, and no governmental organization has taken up the task.

The closure of Guantanamo was a stated goal in Obama's 2008 platform, but the prison was not mentioned in his second inauguration. Some military officials speculate that his silence on the issue in his second term may have contributed to unrest in the prison.

Media Resources: The Guardian 04/30/2013; The New York Times 04/30/2013; Los Angeles Times 04/30/2013


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska. The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services. The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge. Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska. "By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read. "We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
 
8/27/2015 Los Angeles Mayor Announces Model Gender Equity Directive - On Women's Equality Day Eric Garcetti, the Mayor of Los Angeles, signed a progressive and inclusive executive directive to take a major step toward gender equity for the city and to be a model for other cities. . . .
 
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections. This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .