Obama Administration Ordered to Prepare Release of Videos of Former Guantanamo Prisoner Being Force-Fed

Judge Gladys Kessler

President Barack Obama’s administration has been ordered by a federal judge to prepare videos of forced feedings of a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner for release on August 31.

Abu Wa’el Dhiab, a forty-six year-old Syrian, was imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay from 2002 to December 2014. He remained in detention for five years after Obama’s own review task force cleared him for release. He was released with five other prisoners to Uruguay.

During his confinement, Dhiab protested by engaging in hunger strike. He endured torture and abuse as military personnel subjected him to forced feedings, and Dhiab filed a lawsuit prior to his release, which sought to put a stop to the forced feedings.

On October 3, 2014, Judge Gladys Kessler rejected several secrecy arguments, ruled against the government, and ordered the administration to review videos and prepare them for the release. The administration filed what Kessler has now referred to as a “frivolous” appeal.

On July 10, Kessler ordered the government to stop stalling and complete redaction of eight videos by August 31. The rest of the videos are to be redacted and prepared for release by September 30.

“There will be no extensions of time granted,” Kessler stated.

Cori Crider, an attorney for the human rights organization, Reprieve, which has represented Dhiab, called the order a “great win for the US press, and for the First Amendment.” (more…)