Sunday, April 7, 2013

Detainees at Gitmo smuggle contraband including weapons in Qur'ans, then go on hunger strike to protest the searching of those Qur'ans

Like little kids caught in a lie, Muslims at Guantanamo are upset they have been found out, and are now on a hunger strike.  They would probably get better results by threatening to hold their breath until they turn blue.

From the Miami Herald April 4 by Carol Rosenberg

Qurans at crux of Guantánamo hunger strike

A senior Pentagon official said this week that Muslim captives at the detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, have hidden weapons inside their copies of the Quran, a claim the U.S. military has yet to substantiate.

“There have, in the past, been incidents of detainees storing contraband in their Qurans; items found have included improvised weapons, unauthorized food and medicine,” wrote William K. Lietzau, deputy assistant secretary of defense for rule of law and detainee policy.

He made the claim in a one-page letter dated April 1 to the Center for Constitutional Rights, a New York law firm. The firm wrote Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on March 14, seeking a meeting to discuss the ongoing hunger strike at the Guantánamo prison, which they said started over a Feb. 2 Quran search and grew to present “a serious threat to the health and life of detainees.”

Lietzau, responding for Hagel, offered a broad defense of Quran search policy and told the lawyers he was “aware of reports that many detainees are engaged in a hunger strike.”

The Miami Herald has been asking the military since mid-March to provide specific details, including photographs, of items found concealed in detainees’ Qurans. n light of the Lietzau letter, The Herald asked additionally for specific incident reports. No details have been provided.

A dispute over Quran searches has been the underlying issue of the hunger strike that lawyers for the captives say is more widespread than the military acknowledges. On Friday, Navy medical staff considered 41 of the 166 detainees to be weak enough or to have lost enough weight to be classified as hunger strikers. Eleven were getting tube feedings of nutritional supplements, the camps said, and no hunger strikers were hospitalized.

Lawyers have proposed that, if the Pentagon cannot agree to stop having staff search Qurans, it should let the captives turn them in for safekeeping. Prison officials refuse. Navy Capt. Robert Durand, a spokesman, said letting captives return their individual Qurans would amount to a concession of desecration.

Several defense lawyers were asked whether they had ever heard an allegation of captives hiding contraband in Qurans.

They’re not going to desecrate their own Qurans,” said attorney David Remes, who met with several hunger-striking Yemeni detainees and likened a weapon hidden in the holy book to hiding “a saw in a birthday cake.”

No it isn't.  A birthday cake is not the same thing as a Qur'an, even with the saw in it.

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