Force-feeding of hunger striker at Guantánamo Bay allowed to continue

Same judge who ended it allows force-feeding to resume to keep Abu Wa'el Dhiab alive.
By Matt Bradwell  |  May 23, 2014 at 3:37 PM
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GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba, May 23 (UPI) -- A federal judge has lifted the restraining order she placed on military officials in Guantánamo Bay, allowing them to force feed a hunger-striking detainee to keep him from dying.

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler, who first issued the order preventing the force-feeding on grounds of cruel and unusual punishment, said the military may resume force feeding Abu Wa'el Dhiab as he will likely die of they don't.

"The Court is in no position to make the complex medical decisions necessary to keep Mr. Dhiab alive," Kessler wrote in her decision.

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. However, the Court simply cannot let Mr. Dhiab die.

A spokesman for the Department of Defense said the force-feedings were only carried out due to absolute necessity.

"The department has long held that we shall not allow the detainees in our charge to commit suicide and it's particularly worth noting here that we only apply enteral feeding in order to preserve life," Lt. Col. J. Todd Breasseale said on behalf of the DoD.

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