The prisoners in the detention camp in Guantanamo have good reasons for calling attention to their terrible situation with hunger strikes and riots.
Guantanamo, which goes against international law, has largely disappeared from the awareness of the Americans. During the election campaign last year, Barack Obama did renew his promise to bring its closure into action, but since then, the topic no longer shows up on the White House agenda. Other topics are too important for the president: stricter gun control, immigration reform and a more reasonable national budget. And the resistance in Congress in opposition to closing the prison is too fierce.
The prisoners therefore have good reasons for calling attention to their terrible situation with hunger strikes and riots. Furthermore, most of them are sitting in the camp for an undetermined period of time with no prospect of a trial. Only three were legally sentenced, while 86 of 166 inmates are classified as innocent and were supposed to be released three years ago. But Congress has made that as good as impossible as well.
All of this is possible up to now — at least from the view of the U.S. — because the country finds itself in a self-declared “War on Terror.” Al-Qaida is, however, even according to information of the CIA, severely weakened, and U.S. troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan in 2014. Obama should use this to finally declare the war ended and to establish justice in Guantanamo, too.