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Monday, 19 May 2014

Judge orders US to halt force-feeding of Guantánamo prisoner and preserve video evidence of abuse

District Court Judge Gladys Kessler has for the first time ordered the US government to suspend force-feeding of a hunger-striking prisoner in Guantánamo Bay. 
The same order requires the Obama Administration to halt 'forcible cell extractions' of a prisoner, in which a team of guard in riot gear storms a prisoner's cell to move him by force to feedings if he refuses to go.

Judge Kessler also stated that the government must preserve all videotaped evidence of cleared Syrian Abu Wa'el Dhiab's force-feedings and forcible cell extractions, the existence of which Justice Department attorneys admitted only this week.

Reprieve attorney for Abu Wa'el Dhiab, Cori Crider, said:
"This is a major crack in Guantanamo's years-long effort to oppress prisoners and to exercise total control over information about the prison. Dhiab is cleared for release and should have been returned to his family years ago. He is on hunger strike because he feels he has no other option left. I am glad Judge Kessler has taken this seriously, and we look forward to our full day in court to expose the appalling way Dhiab and others have been treated."

Jon Eisenberg, attorney for Abu Wa'el Dhiab, said:
"We are very grateful to Judge Kessler for recognizing the urgent need for judicial relief. The force feeding that has been happening at Guantanamo Bay is a stain on our country and must end."
Notes to editors

1. For further information, and copies of court documents, please  go towww.reprieve.org or contact Reprieve’s press office: katherine.oshea@reprieve.org / +1(917) 855 8064

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