Urgent Action to Support Hunger Striking Security Certificate Detainee

Posted by admin on Feb 16th, 2007


FRIDAY FEB 16TH FROM 11 AM- 1 PM. VANCOUVER PUBLIC LIBRARY/ CIC 350 W. GEORGIA (we will be on the Robson Side)

Security certificate detainees Mohammad Mahjoub, Mahmoud Jaballah, and Hassan Almrei are still on a punishing hungerstrike. As of Thursday Feb 15, Mohammad Mahjoub has been on hunger strike for 83 days, while Mahmoud Jaballah and Hassan Almrei have been on hunger strike for 72 days.

Despite mounting public pressure and a recent visit to Guantanamo North by Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day- who did not meet with the detainees- there has been no negotiation with the men, and no effort to end a critical situation that could turn deadly at any time. The Canada Border Service Agency calls the protest a “voluntary fast” and insists the men have access to food. Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day says the men can eat at any time and that they can leave the jail at any time- how? by simply leaving the country!

During all this time, the men have been on a juice and water fast, and occasionally some clear broth. The men are not being medically monitored regularly and the failure to provide appropriate medical monitoring and care could lead to very serious consequences. The men are extremely weak. Mr. Mahjoub had his blood pressure taken on Sunday, but had to be taken in a wheelchair, because he is too weak and dehydrated to walk.

In response to this critical situation, on Tues Jan 23rd, a group of health workers released a letter to Minister Stockwell Day stating their concerns and the urgent need for all three men to undergo a thorough medical examination by a qualified independent physician, as well as being monitored on a daily basis. Canadian Red Cross sent a team of delegates into Millhaven at the end of January, under an agreement with the Canadian Border Services Agency, the Red Cross is not allowed to make its findings public.

The hunger strike is focused on basic, material considerations for the detainees. The most pressing demands of the hungerstrike include immediate medical treatment for Mr. Mahjoub, who has been denied access to medical care for hepatitis C and high blood pressure since September. The men are also demanding that a supervisor (not a guard) escort them between the “living unit” and the administration building (where they receive visitors and exercise). The three detainees are also demanding the appointment of the Correctional Investigator, an independent ombudsman to register their complaints. These services are available in other Canadian prisons, but not in the new Kingston facility, designed specially for the Security Certificate detainees, demonstrating the legal and political limbo that these men are in.

NOTE: Complete background and related documentation on the hunger strike available at http://www.homesnotbombs.ca/gitmonorthstrike.htm

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