Guantánamo ordered to hand over four more tapes thought to show abuse

June 19, 2014

Image depicting force-feeding of Mos Def

A federal judge has today ordered the Obama Administration to pass attorneys four more videotapes depicting the Forced Cell Extraction (FCE) of a disabled hunger-striker at Guantánamo Bay.

The latest tapes, recorded on May 29-30 this year, are thought to depict a new FCE team handling Syrian prisoner Abu Wa’el Dhiab especially roughly following a court order which temporarily halted his force-feeding.

They are in addition to the 28 tapes viewed over the weekend by lawyers from legal charity Reprieve, which is representing Mr Dhiab. Of these, 18 have been filed to the court in support of Mr Dhiab’s case.

Abu Wa’el Dhiab, a father of four from Syria, is one of several hunger-striking prisoners currently asking the DC District Court to order a halt to the practice of force-feeding at Guantánamo Bay. Mr Dhiab has been held at the US prison without charge or trial since 2002. He was cleared for release by the Obama Administration in 2009.

Judge Gladys Kessler indicated that she aimed to schedule a trial on the merits of Mr Dhiab’s case by 1 September at the latest.

Cori Crider, Reprieve attorney for Mr Dhiab, said:  “Bit by bit, tape by tape, this case is starting to reveal the ugly reality of Guantánamo. The only question is how long the President, who has the power to release this cleared man, will continue to look away and leave him to endure this pointless torment.”

Alka Pradhan, Reprieve US attorney for Mr Dhiab said: “These first-ever glimpses into Guantánamo Bay are extraordinarily disturbing. I challenge the President to look at the mounting evidence and take ownership of the abuse my client is enduring.”


Notes to editors

1. For further information, please contact Reprieve’s US press office: +1 (917) 855 8064