Monday, July 28, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 1 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

U.S. ordered not to force feed Guantanamo prisoner

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 06:57 p.m. HST, May 16, 2014

MIAMI » A federal judge in Washington ordered the U.S. military on Friday to at least temporarily stop force-feeding a hunger striking prisoner at the Guantanamo Bay naval base.

The order from U.S. District Court Judge Gladys Kessler bars the force feeding of prisoner Abu Wa'el Dhiab at least until a hearing on Wednesday. It also directs the military from forcibly removing the prisoner from his cell at the U.S. base in Cuba.

The temporary restraining order is in place at least until the judge can hold a hearing to determine when the U.S. government will turn over the Syrian prisoner's medical records and any videotapes of the force-feeding procedure he has undergone while on hunger strike.

Lawyers for the prisoner have challenged his treatment during the hunger strike as part of a broader legal challenge of his overall confinement and are ultimately seeking a court order for his release from Guantanamo. They welcomed Kessler's order on force feeding as an important step.

"This is a major crack in Guantanamo's years-long effort to oppress prisoners and to exercise total control over information about the prison," said Cori Crider, an attorney with the British legal rights group Reprieve that represents the prisoner.

A Defense Department spokesman, Army Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale, said the military only feeds prisoners against their will to keep them alive and follows all laws when it does so. "We will, of course, comply with the judge's order here," he said by email.

Prisoners at Guantanamo have engaged in hunger strikes for years to protest their confinement. The military force feeds prisoners a liquid nutrient mix through a nasal tube against their will when doctors at the base determine it is necessary. Officials no longer disclose how many of the 154 prisoners at the base are on hunger strike and meet the guidelines for force feeding.

Dhiab, 42, has been held without charge at Guantanamo since August 2002. His lawyers say he has been cleared for release and media in Uruguay say he is one of a handful of Syrians held at the base who are being considered for resettlement in the South American country. U.S. officials have declined to confirm those reports.

 Print   Email   Comment | View 1 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
sailfish1 wrote:
I agree - don't force feed those prisoners on hunger strike. If they don't want to eat, let them starve to death.
on May 16,2014 | 10:50PM
Breaking News
Political Radar
`My side’

Political Radar
‘He reminds me of me’

Bionic Reporter
Needing a new knee

Warrior Beat
Monday musings

Small Talk
Burning money

Political Radar
On policy

Warrior Beat
Apple fallout