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US Judge Allows Force Feeding in Guantanamo to Continue

  • VOA News

File -Prisoners at the US Guantanamo base.

File -Prisoners at the US Guantanamo base.

A U.S. judge has allowed the military to resume force feeding a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, but urged authorities to explore alternative methods.

District judge Gladys Kessler lifted a temporary ban against force feeding Syrian prisoner Abu Wa'el Dhiab, saying there is a "real probability" he would die if not fed.

The judge said she faced an "anguishing" choice of either renewing the order to halt the practice, which risked the prisoner dying, or allowing him to be force-fed at the possible cost of what she called "great pain and suffering."

Lawyers for Dhiab argue that the force feeding, which includes restraining the prisoner and inserting a tube through his nose, is abusive and illegal. They say the detainee is willing to be fed at a hospital if he can be spared the pain of the current procedure.

The Pentagon says it only feeds prisoners against their will to keep them alive.

Prisoners at the U.S. facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba began a mass hunger strike last year. The military has been force feeding those who are striking.

Most of the inmates in Guantanamo Bay were captured in the U.S. war on terrorism after the September 11, 2001 attacks.