Judge Lifts Force-Feeding Ban at Gitmo

    A US naval medic holds liquid food supplement force fed to hunger strikers at the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on August 7, 2013. The end of Ramadan is traditionally regarded as an unofficial truce at Guantanamo, where some inmates have been held for around a decade without trial. However officials expect the end of Ramadan and the festival of Eid al-Fitr will be the cue for trouble at Guantanamo, which has witnessed an unprecedented six-month hunger strike this year. Some inmates at Guantanamo have taken advantage of a tailored menu to observe the Eid holiday.This weekend inmates were offered halal chicken, halal beef, lamb, dates, honey, says kitchen manager Sam Scott. Some 38 other hunger-striking inmates, however, will continue to be force-fed by tubes, a practice which has been widely condemned by rights groups. The number of prisoners on hunger-strike has fallen, possibly as a result of Ramadan, when authorities traditionally offer to wipe clean the slates of inmates facing disciplinary proceedings. AFP PHOTO/CHANTAL VALERY        (Photo credit should read CHANTAL VALERY/AFP/Getty Images)


    Faced with the “very real probability that [Abu Wa’el] Dhiab will die,” a federal judge lifted a temporary ban on force-feeding the hunger-striking Guantanamo Bay prisoner late Thursday night. The day before, U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler demanded that the Department of Defense not only acknowledge the existence of dozens of secretly recorded videos of Dhiab being force-fed, but also allow the detainee’s lawyers to view them. In court Thursday, Kessler admonished the Pentagon for refusing to make any concessions on the military’s enteral feeding procedure, despite Dhiab’s apparent willingness to be fed at the Guantanamo Bay hospital if he does not have to endure the pain of having feeding tubes painfully inserted and removed at each feeding. “Thanks to the intransigence of the Department of Defense, Mr. Dhiab may well suffer unnecessary pain from certain enteral feeding practices and forcible cell extractions,” Kessler wrote in her decision. “However, the court simply cannot let Mr. Dhiab die.”

    Read it at The Associated Press

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