DOJ seeks stay on release of Guantanamo force-feeding videos
DOJ seeks stay on release of Guantanamo force-feeding videos

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] has filed a motion [text PDF] in the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] seeking to stay an order issued by the court earlier this month requiring the public release [JURIST report] of 28 videos showing the forcible removal and forced feeding of Guantanamo Bay detainee Wa’el Dhiab. Dhiab, a Syrian citizen, has been held at Guantanamo since 2002 and has been on a long-term hunger strike [JURIST backgrounder] in protest of his detention. The DOJ and the Obama administration have opposed the release of the footage [Miami Herald report] on the basis of protecting the US military personnel depicted in the videos and preventing the disclosure of “prison camp secrets.” The DOJ now asks that the court stay its order while the Obama administration determines whether to appeal the order.

In September the commanding officer of a nurse who refused to force feed hunger strikers [JURIST report] at the Guantanamo detention center [JURIST backgrounder] chose not to court-marshal her. In May Kessler issued an order allowing the military to resume force feeding a detainee [JURIST report], stating that “the court is in no position to make the complex medical decisions necessary” to keep the prisoner alive. In the order, Kessler said that she would not reissue a recent temporary order [JURIST report] that stopped the military from force feeding the Syrian detainee. The detainees’s lawyers argued that the military’s practice of forcibly removing him and other prisoners from their cells, restraining them to a chair and feeding them by inserting tubes into the nose is illegal and abusive.