A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia on Oct. 3 ordered (PDF) the public release of 28 videos showing the forced feeding of Guantánamo Bay detainee Wa'el Dhiab. Dhiab, a Syrian citizen, has been held at Guantánamo since 2002 and has been on a long term hunger strike in protest of his detention. US District Court Judge Gladys Kessler rejected the US Navy's arguments that releasing the tapes would aid detainees in thwarting security measures, produce propaganda, and violate the Geneva convention. She found instead that the decision to disclose classified information lies with the judiciary rather than the executive branch stating that:
it is our responsibility, as judges, as part of our obligation under the Constitution, to ensure that any efforts to limit our First Amendment protections are scrutinized with the greatest of care. That responsibility cannot be ignored or abdicated.
Judge Kessler also ordered that the videotapes be withheld until they can be edited to screen names and voices and blur faces and identifying portions of uniforms.
In September the commanding officer of a nurse who refused refused to force feed hunger strikers at the Guantánamo detention center chose not to court-marshal her.
From Jurist, Oct. 6. Used with permission.
DoJ seeks stay on release of Gitmo force-feeding videos
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has filed a motion (PDF) in the US District Court for the District of Columbia seeking to stay an order issued by the court requiring the public release of 28 videos showing the forcible removal and forced feeding of Guantánamo Bay detainee Wa'el Dhiab. The DoJ and Obama administration have opposed the release of the footage on the basis of protecting the US military personnel depicted in the videos and preventing the disclosure of "prison camp secrets." The DoJ now asks that the court stay its order while the Obama administration determines whether to appeal the order.
From Jurist, Oct. 17. Used with permission.