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US judge lifts ban on Guantanamo prisoner force-feeding ‘not to let him die’

Published time: May 24, 2014 19:15
A US naval medic holds liquid food supplement force fed to hunger strikers at the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (AFP Photo/Chantal Valery)

A US naval medic holds liquid food supplement force fed to hunger strikers at the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (AFP Photo/Chantal Valery)

US District Judge Gladys Kessler ordered that her previous temporary restraining order to stop forcibly feeding Syrian Abu Wa’el Dhiab will not be reissued, due to the prisoner's physical condition 'swiftly deteriorating' due to a hunger strike.

The ruling follows a decision barring the Pentagon from force-feeding the 42-year-old Dhiab, who has gone on prolonged hunger strikes while being held for 12 years without a trial. The prisoner has been force-fed by the military and filed a petition to stop the enteral feeding practice.

The procedure involves strapping a detainee into a chair and pouring a liquid nutritional supplement right into the stomach through a nasal tube. In a legal filing from Dhiab he describes the pain caused by the method: “Sometimes the way the MP [military policeman] holds my head chokes me, and with all the nerves in the nose the tube passing the nose is like torture."

The judge did not keep her previous order to stop Dhiab's sufferings in place as a legal fight unfolds, according to her ruling, in order to keep him alive. “Mr. Dhiab may well suffer unnecessary pain from certain enteral feeding practices and forcible cell extractions. However, the Court simply cannot let Mr. Dhiab die,” Kessler’s ruling reads.

The federal judge has 'strongly suggested' to consider alternative ways to keep the prisoner alive. "Mr. Dhiab has indicated his willingness to be internally fed, if it could be done at the hospital in Guantanamo Bay, if he could be spared the agony of having the feeding tubes inserted and removed for each feeding, and if he could be spared the pain and discomfort of the restraint chair," Kessler said in the ruling. Although, the military command overseeing Guantanamo detentions deny the procedure is abusive and “the Department of Defense refused to make these compromises.”

The recent rulings promise to keep attention on the controversial force-feeding practices, as the federal court ordered the potentially embarrassing videos depicting the treatment to be released. On Friday, Kessler said in a scheduling order that US government must reveal videos of the practice criticized as abusive, to be viewed by the detainee's lawyers by June 13 - the first time a non-government official will be permitted to see the secret recordings.

Guantanamo prisoners have engaged in hunger strikes for years. Abu Wa’el Dhiab was recommended for transfer from Guantanamo more than four years ago. At one point, when it appeared to him release might be imminent, he suspended his hunger strike for a brief period. He later resumed the protest against confinement.

Comments (26)

 

fran7 27.05.2014 08:01

USA government are showing themselves to be inhuman because of the medieval treatment of the occupants of GITMO bay in Cuba which Obama promised to close and is a violation of human rights under USAs own constitution. USA government continues to back terrorists such as the Neo Nazi government in Kiev under the false flag of democracy. John Pilgers book "FREEDOM NEXT TIME" gives a good insight into the skulduggery of the USA government and its NSA and security service which are unaccountable and out of control. Snowden is a hero for revealing USA governments evil PRISM system which spies on every one in the World.

 

John M. Wadsworth 27.05.2014 07:10

Odzer Chenma 27.05.2014 07:04

Gladys hasn't gotten the bad news yet: she's not God. First, she stops this man's force feeding and then just does an about face. Nothing has been accomplished. Just a further waste of taxpayer dollars. Should an innocent man, cleared for release, continue to be tortured? Why didn't she order his release?

  


To rture is an act conducted with the intent to inflict extreme pain and suffering. If the intent is to preserve life, rather than inflict pain, it is not torture.

Sh e didn't release him because she wasn't asked to; and doesn't have that power.

 

John M. Wadsworth 27.05.2014 07:06

civicdude0009 26.05.2014 23:15

How abt a trial? Isn't that what we do in the "civilized" ; ; world

  


Does anyone put prisoners of war on trial? For what? Many people held in Guantanamo are held as prisoners of war, and not war criminals.

View all comments (26)
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