activist defense

on the intersection of activism and legal systems

Tag: hunger strike

civil disobedient begins hunger strike, as pelican bay hunger strike resumes tomorrow

Uriel Alberto was born in Oaxaca, Mexico in 1987 and came to the U.S. at age 7. Approximately one year ago, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) rejected his request to stay in the U.S. following his February 2012 arrest for disrupting a meeting of the North Carolina House Select Committee on the State’s Role in Immigration Policy. After ICE ordered Alberto to present himself to immigration authorities by July 17 of this year, he began a hunger strike last week in front of the ICE office in Charlotte to protest his deportation.

Another hunger strike, in California, will restart tomorrow. Due to broken promises and cruel conditions, prisoners will resume a July 2011 hunger strike that started in Pelican Bay’s isolation unit and spread to prisons across the state. According to a San Francisco Bay Guardian article,

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) counted 6,000 prisoners throughout the state who refused food over several weeks in July 2011. During a follow-up strike that September, the number of prisoners missing meals swelled to 12,000, according to the federal receiver who was appointed by the courts to oversee reforms in the system. At least one inmate starved to death.

At Guantánamo Bay, where a group of detainees began a hunger strike in February and more than 100 detainees are refusing food, the U.S. government says it will continue to force-feed 45 of the hunger strikers during the holy month of Ramadan. Observant Muslims fast daily from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, which begins tomorrow. The Obama administration allegedly does not force-feed observant Muslims between sunrise and sunset during Ramadan, but lawyers for the detainees have criticized the government for failing to guarantee that no such force-feeding will occur.

pussy riot member announces hunger strike, as guantánamo hunger strike continues

After she wasn’t allowed to attend her parole hearing today, Maria Alyokhina of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot announced that she would begin a hunger strike. Alyokhina’s fellow band member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova was denied parole last month. Alyokhina, Tolokonnikova, and a third band member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, were arrested in March 2012, charged with hooliganism, convicted, and sentenced to two years in prison; but Samutsevich’s sentence was later suspended.

A more desperate hunger strike, at Guantánamo Bay, reached its 100th day on Friday. Approximately 102 of the 166 inmates have joined the hunger strike. On April 26, the American Medical Association reaffirmed its long-standing opposition to force-feeding Guantánamo prisoners, but roughly 30 prisoners are apparently being force-fed regardless. According to Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel, who has been detained at Guantánamo for 11 years and 4 months but has never been charged with any crime, much less taken to trial,

I will not eat until they restore my dignity. … Denying ourselves food and risking death every day is the choice we have made. I just hope that because of the pain we are suffering, the eyes of the world will once again look to Guantánamo before it is too late.