Judge Lifts Force-Feeding Ban at Gitmo

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.”