Seton Hall professor Jonathan Hafetz’s article “Deprived of justice, Guantanamo detainees’ last resort is to hunger strike” was published last week in The Guardian.
In contrast to the articles focusing on why these hunger strikes won’t work, Hafetz instead focuses on why detainees need to hunger strike. Hafetz, a professor of international law and counsel to Guantanamo detainees, writes that refusing to eat is the only means the detainees have of exerting control over their captors and reminding the public of their humanity. While legal rulings and policies surrounding GTMO can (and have) been ignored, US officials cannot ignore a dying detainee. At a minimum, the hunger strikes remind the public that Guantanamo is still open and remains a significant human rights issue.