An unhappy federal judge blasted the Defense Department for its “intransigence” but has lifted a ban on forced-feeding of a hunger-striking Guantanamo Bay detainee.
In a three-page decision dated Thursday, U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler said she had little choice but to remove a temporary restraining order that had blocked officials from feeding Syrian detainee Mohammed Abu Wa’el Dhiab.
“Thanks to the intransigence of the Department of Defense, Mr. Dhiab may well suffer unnecessary pain from certain enteral feeding practices and forcible cell extractions,” Kessler wrote.“However, the court simply cannot let Mr. Dhiab die.”
Last Friday, in an extraordinary move, Kessler had imposed the temporary ban on the forced-feeding. At a subsequent court hearing Wednesday, Kessler ordered the government to turn over 34 videotapes showing Dhiab’s forcible extraction from his Guantanamo cell and his forced-feedings while he was being held in a restraint chair.
The Wednesday hearing included a lengthy bench conference, some of whose details Kessler revealed in her Thursday decision.