01 March 2006

Guantanamo Detainee Challenges Force Feeding

The last time I checked, the U.S. Forces at Gitmo were responsible for the health and welfare of the detainees. AFP, via Yahoo! News, reports:
WASHINGTON (AFP) - A Yemeni held at the Guantanamo US "war on terror" detention camp has launched a court challenge to US forces force-feeding inmates on hunger strike, a lawyer said.

The action taken by Mohammed Bawazir alleges that he and other detainees were given treatment amounting to torture to force them to take intravenous feeding.

Rick Murphy, the US lawyer taking the action for Bawazir, said that federal judge Gladys Kessler had given US authorities until late Wednesday to give their version of the facts.

Bawazir has been detained at the camp for suspects held in the US "war on terror" since early 2002. He joined a hunger strike by many of the inmates in August 2005 to protest against the conditions of their detention.

According to US lawyers who have had restricted access to the detainees, US military authorities have recently changed their tactics to make the hunger strikers accept nourishment.

Before January, Bawazir and the other hunger strikers had been force-fed through a tube.

The lawyers said that since January 11, Bawazir has been forcibly strapped into a chair -- with his legs, arms, head and midriff tied to the chair -- to be fed.

They said a new larger feeding tube has been used, increasing the pain during insertion and extraction. Four bottles of water were poured into his stomach through the nasal tube even though he has never refused to drink water by mouth, the lawyers said.

They added that Bawazir was denied access to a toilet while being fed and for an hour or more afterwards.

Documents sent to the court said that Bawazir abandoned his hunger strike on January 22 "only because of brutal treatment that respondents (the US military) began inflicting on January 11".

The action argues that the tactics being used are against a recent law passed by Congress which banned the use of torture against detainees held by the United States anywhere in the world.

The US authorities have repeatedly insisted that the Guantanamo detainees are treated humanely.
Should U.S. Forces use I.V. methods to keep detainees healthy?

Open Post Thanks to Don Surber, Stuck on Stupid, Bloggin' Outloud, Freedom Watch, Third World County, The Mudville Gazette, and THM's Bacon Bits.

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