Human Rights

Guantanamo hunger striker appeals treatment


A hunger striker at the Guantanamo Bay prison is appealing a US judge’s refusal to change the method of his force-feeding.

The Syrian prisoner, Abu Wa’el Dhiab, had asked to have the tube that runs through his nose and into his stomach left in place for at least three days.

However, US District Judge Gladys Kessler rejected the request on Friday and said that Dhiab is a sick, depressed and desperate inmate.

Kessler also said that prison authorities had not shown any deliberate indifference as to how Dhiab is being treated in the prison.

The judge noted that his jailers would continue to fasten him to a special chair while feeding him although the prisoner said that the practice significantly exacerbates his back pain.

The Syrian inmate told his lawyers that he had been forcibly removed from his cell and force-fed over 1,300 times since he was brought to the jail in August 2002.

The 43-year-old Dhiab started his hunger strike 18 months ago to protest his indefinite confinement without charge. He has been protesting force-feeding procedures administered by prison authorities.

Lawyers for the prisoner said his treatment was abusive.

Dozens of prisoners at Guantanamo have engaged in hunger strikes to protest their confinement.

However, US officials no longer disclose how many of the 149 prisoners at the base are on hunger strike and meet the guidelines for force-feeding.

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