POLITICS
17/10/2017 11:49 BST

Tom Watson Goes On Hunger Strike In Solidarity With Guantánamo Prisoners

"This is not some George Osborne-inspired weight-loss plan."

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Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Tom Watson is on hunger strike 

Tom Watson has gone on hunger strike to show solidarity with two Guantánamo Bay detainees being “slowly starved to death” by Donald Trump. 

The Deputy Labour Leader has declared nothing but water will pass his lips because detainees Ahmed Rabbani and Khalid Qasim have gone without food for 26 days. 

Watson demanded Theresa May use her influence to “save the lives” of Rabbani and Qasim, and has asked others to join him in his hunger strike.

The two men are on hunger strike in protest over “a decade of torture, injustice and indifference”, Watson said. 

Guantánamo Bay used to force-feed prisoners who suffered severe weight loss with a tube into the nose and offer them medical treatment - but Trump has allegedly ended the practice.

Writing in the Guardian, Watson said: “I’m going on hunger strike from today. I’m not allowing myself anything but sips of water.

“Why? This is not some George Osborne-inspired weight-loss plan. No. I’m following the Guantánamo diet in solidarity with two men who are being slowly starved to death by President Trump.

“His administration has changed its practice towards detainees who choose to refuse food in protest at their incarceration. Previously they were force-fed, a cruel and inhuman punishment in itself. Now they are no longer fed at all. Make no mistake, these men will die at the hands of Donald Trump if nothing is done.” 

Watson said the two men were on hunger strike in protest over “a decade of torture, injustice and indifference”, before adding: “We can’t let these two men die in silence. They are among the most powerless in the world and have faced grave injustice at the hands of our close ally.

“We need to take on their plight as our own and raise the alarm, on social media and in the House of Commons.” 

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Watson wants Theresa May to use her influence with Donald Trump 

He went on: ”[Theresa May] should tell President Trump to close down Guantánamo Bay and give the men locked up there what they have been asking for: a fair trial or a release. When America abandons our shared values, we must play the role of the critical friend.

So today I am calling on my fellow MPs and members of the public to take action and let Trump know the world is watching. We can all support Ahmed and Khalid by pledging a day of hunger strike and signing the petition demanding their fair treatment. At least they will know they are not alone in their long fight for justice.”