A US federal judge has ordered the military to stop force-feeding a Syrian hunger-striking detainee at the Guantanamo Bay prison.
Judge Gladys Kessler said on Friday that Abui Wa’el Dhiab must not be force-fed at least until a hearing set for Wednesday.
Dhiab, 42, was arrested in Pakistan in 2002 and has been detained for over 10 years, according to the London-based human rights group Reprieve.
Kessler also said that the military must not forcibly remove him from his cell for the purpose of feeding him.
The judge ordered authorities to preserve and turn over the videotapes of the forced feeding of Dhiab between April 9, 2013, and February 19.
The ruling marks the first time in the US history that a judge or any outside authority intervenes in the hunger strike.
Commenting on Kessler’s ruling, Dhiab’s lawyer, Cori Crider, said “This is a major crack in Guantanamo’s years-long effort to oppress prisoners and to exercise total control over the information that comes out about the prison.”
“Dhiab is cleared for release and should have been returned to his family years ago. He is on hunger strike because he feels he has no other option left. I am glad Judge Kessler has taken this seriously, and we look forward to our full day in court to expose the appalling way Dhiab and others have been treated,” Crider said in a statement on Friday.
In January, Amnesty International condemned the US for its continued operation of Guantanamo. It said the torture of detainees at the prison is a prime example of America’s double standard on human rights.