Summary: Judge orders US government to release Guantanamo force-feeding videotapes to prisoner’s lawyers

23rd May 2014: A federal court judge today ordered the US government to produce 34 videotapes showing Guantanamo prisoner Abu Wa’el Dhiab being forcibly dragged from his cell and being force-fed. Mr Dhiab was cleared for release by the Obama Administration in 2009, but he remains in Guantánamo after more than a decade without charge or trial. He is being assisted by SRT grantee Reprieve.

In total, there are 136 videos of Mr Dhiab being subjected to the ‘Forcible Cell Extraction’ process, which has been carried out on average three times a week for a year. Judge Gladys Kessler has required the government to hand over the 34 tapes which relate specifically to him being force fed.

The court also ordered the government to produce Mr Dhiab’s medical records, which should allow the court to make a proper assessment of the impact of force-feeding on Mr Dhiab’s declining health.

Today’s hearing marked the first time the US government has been ordered to give detainees’ lawyers videotapes of force-feedings.

Cori Crider, strategic director of Reprieve, said, “It is very encouraging that the rule of law is finally coming to Guantanamo, so that perhaps Mr. Dhiab’s situation can be resolved. While the photographic evidence of his abuse is secret, it will at least allow the judge to see what is happening to him.”

More information from Reprieve’s website:

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