Thursday, June 01, 2006

Prayers from the Book of Common Prayer

News from Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility:

In peace, we pray to you, Lord God.

For the just and proper use of your creation;
For the victims of hunger, fear, injustice and oppression.

More Guantanamo Bay detainees have joined a hunger strike, raising the total to 89, and six of them were being force-fed, the U.S. military said Thursday.

The strike — which last weekend jumped from three participants to 75 — is now the biggest of the year at the U.S. prison on Cuba, where about 460 men are being held on suspicion of links to al-Qaida or the Taliban.
For our President, for the leaders of the nations, and for all in authority, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For the poor and the oppressed, for the unemployed and the destitute, for prisoners and captives, and for all who remember and care for them, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy

The U.S. military said the detainees were trying to pressure the United States to release them, but a human rights attorney described the strike as a desperate appeal for justice.

Six hunger strikers were being force-fed, said Navy Cmdr. Robert Durand — two more than last weekend.

"All are being closely monitored by the ... medical staff and being counseled on the health effects of long-term hunger striking," Durand said in a statement from Guantanamo Bay.

Military officials said the hunger strikers are an attempt to gain public sympathy to pressure the United States to release them.
I ask your prayers for the poor, the sick, the hungry, the oppressed, and those in prison.
Pray for those in any need or trouble.

Ben Wizner, an merican Civil Liberties Union attorney who has been to Guantanamo Bay, said the growing hunger strike appears more like a call for help by detainees.

"The vast majority have never been charged with any crime, and have been prevented from communicating directly with the outside world," Wizner said in a telephone interview from New York. "So it may well be their attempt to ensure that the world is reminded of their unlawful detention."

A U.N. panel said May 19 that holding detainees indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay violates the world's ban on torture. The panel said the United States should close the detention center.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen and British Attorney General Lord Goldsmith are among those who also recently have called on the United States to close Guantanamo.
We pray for all who govern and hold authority in the nations of the world;
That there may be justice and peace in the world.

For our enemies and those who wish us harm; and for all whom we have injured or offended, we pray to you, O Lord.

But Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Washington cannot turn loose "people who have vowed to kill more Americans if they're released."

Only 10 Guantanamo detainees have been charged with crimes. The Supreme Court is expected to rule in June whether President Bush overstepped his authority in ordering the detainees to be tried by U.S. military tribunals.

The hunger strike comes amid increasing displays of defiance from the prisoners, who have been held for up to 4 1/2 years, with many claiming their innocence.
Guide the people of this land, of all the nations, in the ways of justice and peace; that we may honor one another and serve the common good.
Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer

Bless all those whose lives are closely linked with ours, and grant that we may serve Christ in them, and love one another as he loves us.
Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer

The hunger strike began in August and peaked at 131 last fall, according to the military's count, before declining to three earlier this year as the military used more aggressive force-feeding methods, including a restraint chair. Force-feeding is done through tubes inserted into the nose.

Physicians for Human Rights has called on the United States to halt the "brutal and inhumane force-feeding tactics."

"The commanders of Guantanamo are not tolerating people on hunger strike," said Leonard Rubenstein, executive director of the doctors' group, adding that detainees were apparently being force fed before their lives are at risk.

"These are policy decisions made by commanders, not by physicians," Rubenstein said from Washington in a telephone interview.
For those in positions of public trust, that they may serve justice, and promote the dignity and freedom of every person, we pray to you, O Lord.

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