A large group gathered to support the prisoners inside Rikers Island. Photo: Dean Moses/Twitter
A hunger strike by around 200 prisoners at New York City’s Rikers Island jail entered its sixth day Thursday, as demonstrators continued to protest “deplorable” and dangerous conditions including lack of medical care during a surging Covid-19 outbreak at the notorious lockup, where 15 inmates died last year.
“It just gets worse and worse,” 55-year-old Rikers inmate Nelson Pinero toldThe New York Times, adding that mice and insects regularly keep him up at night. Continue reading →
A hunger strike launched by Detroit-based anti-war activists in protest of the Saudi-led blockade of Yemen entered its 13th day on Saturday as calls grow for President Joe Biden to end all U.S. support for the kingdom’s deadly restrictions, which are preventing food, medicine, fuel, and other aid from reaching starving Yemenis.
Iman Saleh, a 26-year-old Yemeni American taking part in the hunger strike, wrote in a Washington Postop-ed Friday that “the siege against Yemen not only has had a crippling effect on everyday life, but it is also compounding the ongoing conflict in the country, causing damage that exceeds even the violence itself in both scale and intensity.” Continue reading →
In audio obtained by ProPublica, an ICE detainee described harrowing conditions as fears over coronavirus spread. The ICE detention center in New Jersey gives detainees one bar of soap per week. If they want more, they have to buy it.
In an audio recording obtained by ProPublica, an immigrant held in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention in New Jersey complains that he and other detainees are on a hunger strike to try to obtain soap and toilet paper in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic — and that guards reportedly have told detainees, “Well, you’re going to have to die of something.”
The audio was recorded when Ronal Umaña, a 30-year-old immigrant from El Salvador currently being held at the Hudson County Correctional Facility in New Jersey, placed a personal call to an advocate on Sunday. The advocate provided the audio to ProPublica. Continue reading →
After President Barack Obama agreed on Tuesday to sign a $607 billion “defense” bill that undermines his own plan to shutter the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay, media outlets sounded the death knell for hopes that the facility will close before his term ends in 2017.
But Omar Shakir, a Bertha fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights, told Common Dreams that the president, in fact, still retains the ability to close the prison—and must act now to fulfill his repeated pledges. Continue reading →
When Moustafa Muhamed left Colorado to travel to Washington, DC, he did not realize the same man would never return. A native son of Kobani, he has also served as a Parliamentarian in Syria’s government in the past before moving to the United States. Starting with a mission to draw attention to the plight of his native city and the turmoil embroiling it, he began a hunger strike on October 20 in DuPont Circle and started a petition asking President Obama for 3 specific things.
During the 23 days of his hunger strike, he was joined by supporters, both Kurds and Americans, that believed in his cause and offered their solidarity in a variety of ways. Continue reading →