Gitmo Prisoners Can Sue US Over 'Gratuitously Torturous' Force-Feeding
Men indefinitely detained within the walls of the Guantanamo Bay prison will now be able to legally challenge the practice of force-feeding, considered by international human rights organizations to be a form of torture, following a mixed ruling in a federal appeals court Tuesday.
The judges ruled 2-1 that the Federal District Court has jurisdiction over the techniques used to force-feed Guantanamo detainees, meaning the U.S. government may be subject to lawsuits from any of the remaining 155 Guantanamo inmates on the subject of force-feeding.
According to lawyers for the inmates, at least 34 inmates are still on hunger strike, and half of those continue to be force-fed.
“The appellate court held that the detainees should be allowed a ‘meaningful opportunity’ back in District Court to show that the Guantanamo force-feeding was illegal,” said human rights charity Reprieve, which brought the case along with associated counsel Jon B. Eisenberg. “The judges also invited the detainees to challenge other aspects of the protocol. The detainees have alleged that the force-feeding is both a violation of their rights, and gratuitously torturous.”
The ruling, however, simultaneously turned down a request by the Guantanamo detainees and their lawyers to enforce an injunction on the practice of force-feeding altogether.
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