May 22 2014

Daily News Flash with Arun Gupta on Thai Military Coup, Guantanamo Force-Feeding Videotapes, and Miami Prison Torture

Uprising’s guest expert Arun Gupta, Independent Journalist and regular contributor to the Guardian, In These Times, The Progressive, and Truthout, and co-founder of the Occupied Wall Street Journal and the Indypendent, analyzes today’s news headlines:

Thailand’s military has announced it is seizing power in that country’s 19th coup in 82 years. The coup is being cast as the result of two conflicting sides being unable to come to an agreement in negotiations. Thailand’s government has been under siege for months now after a group of activists took over government buildings, leading most recently to the removal of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra by a court. The military announced that it was taking control in order to “reform the political structure, the economy and society,” just two days after declaring martial law. While the constitution is suspended, the courts will continue to function. Click here for a Guardian newspaper article about the story.

A federal court has ordered video tapes of a Guantanamo detainee being force fed to be viewed by his lawyers for the first time. In 2013, in response to an historic hunger strike by detainees, US military authorities used painful feeding techniques with tubes shoved down through the detainees’ noses in a practice that the prisoner in question says was tantamount to torture. While it is now known that there exist video recordings of Abu Wa’el Dhiab’s force feedings, it appears there may be many more recordings of other detainees also. And, in news that *may* be related, the US-born rapper Mos Def who relocated to South Africa has been denied entry back into the US for a music tour. Mos Def famously allowed himself to undergo force feeding last year to draw attention to the mistreatment of Guantanamo detainees. Click here for a Guardian article about the videotapes, and here for a Guardian article about Mos Def.

The Miami Herald just published a major exposé of how mentally ill inmates at the Dade Correctional Institution near Miami are routinely “tormented and abused for years” by officers. The report is based on testimonies from three former staffers at the facility, and was prompted by the 2011 death of an inmate named Darren Rainey who was literally burned to death in a scalding hot shower for over an hour. Other allegations include “guards … sexually abusing inmates and forcing black and white inmates to fight each other for the entertainment of staff.” Click here for the Miami Herald exposé.

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