Judge orders Guantanamo to stop detainee's forced feedings

(CNN) -- A federal judge ordered the Obama administration Friday to stop temporarily the forced feeding of a detainee at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and provide videotapes of past such feedings.

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler ordered the administration to preserve and turn over the videotapes of the forced feeding of detainee Mohammed Abu Wa'el Dhiab between April 9, 2013, and February 19, 2014, according to court documents.

The judge also ordered the federal government to preserve all videotapes of forcible cell extractions of Dhiab.

Dhiab, 42, a Syrian, was arrested in Pakistan in 2002 and has been detained in Guantanamo for more than 10 years, according to the London-based human rights group Reprieve. The group says it has been acting on behalf of Dhiab and his effort to secure 140 to 150 videos.

Reprieve describes a forcible cell extraction as the Guantanamo base's process in which detainees who do not wish to be force-fed are restrained, sometimes "violently," and taken to a force-feeding chair.

The forced feedings are the U.S. government's response to hunger strikes by detainees.

Guantanamo, in southeastern Cuba, has been used by U.S. government for detainees suspected of terrorism since the 9/11 attacks in 2001. Dhiab was cleared for release by the Obama administration in 2009 and has never been charged, Reprieve's website said.

Dhiab is in poor health with depression and uses a wheelchair, the rights group said. His return to Syria is now "impossible" because of that country's ongoing civil war, the group said.

"He urgently needs a country to step forward and offer him resettlement so that he can begin his life with his family again, in safety and in peace," Reprieve said.

The judge scheduled a May 21 status conference on the videotapes and forced feedings.


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