A campaign launched by hacktivist group Anonymous has gained traction on Twitter, drawing attention to the enduring Guantanamo Bay hunger strike that began in February and pressuring President Obama to close the detention camp.
As Guantanamo inmates reach day 100 in their hunger strike to protest their imprisonment and alleged mistreatment, hashtages #OpGITMO and #GTMO19 have become increasingly popular on Twitter.
“Operation Guantanamo” launched on May 17 with protests before the White House and thousands of Twitter users referencing the operation every few seconds.
Obama is expected to discuss the closing of Guantanamo in a speech, along with his counter-terrorism policy and the use of drones, on Thursday.
"He will review our detention policy and efforts to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, and he will frame the future of our efforts against al Qaeda, its affiliates and adherents," said a White House official, speaking anonymously.
The press release for Operation Gitmo said:
With no hope for justice, over 100 men who have been held and tortured for years have gone on a hunger strike. On May 18th, it will have been 100 days since they have eaten voluntarily. Prisoners have died suddenly, violently, and suspiciously. All inmates in Guantanamo Bay have been locked in solitary confinement. Some are being force fed, an international crime. These men face the prospect of a terrible death in prison despite many of them having been cleared for release years ago.
Meant originally to only be a three-day campaign, the hashtags are still popular. OpGitmo users on Twitter share media stories that talk about the force-feeding of inmates or those held after being cleared of wrongdoing.
The petition to close the detention camp on Change.org has received over 212,000 signatures.