US judge orders release of Guantanamo force-feeding tapes

The US government must release eight of 32 videos depicting the “disturbing” force-feeding of a detainee held for 12 years at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba, a federal judge has ruled.

Gladys Kessler, a senior US District Judge for the District of Columbia (Washington DC), ordered the Obama administration on Friday to prepare the force-feeding video of former Guantanamo detainee Abu Wa’el Dhiab for public release before August 31.

The public first became aware that the recording existed when the international human rights organization Reprieve challenged Dhiab’s force-feeding on his behalf.

Kessler has warned that she would offer no extension of the deadline. Dhiab had been held at the notorious prison for 12 years without any charge. He was finally released last December and sent to Uruguay.

Uruguay accepted six former Guantánamo inmates last December, including Dhiab.

The federal judge first ordered that the tapes be released in October 2014. The government then appealed her ruling in December, arguing that the tapes’ release was a threat to national security.

Reprieve, which advocates for the human rights of prisoners and represented Dhiab, argued that force-feeding its client was both extremely painful and medically unnecessary. Dhiab’s lawyers estimate he was force-fed about 1,300 times during his 12-year detention.

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