Guantánamo force-feeding: US press seeks to unseal video evidence

June 20, 2014

Image depicting force-feeding of Mos Def

Sixteen media organizations have filed a motion to a US court to unseal video evidence of Forcible Cell Extractions and force-feeding at Guantánamo Bay.

The move marks a formal intervention in a legal challenge by Reprieve client Abu Wa’el Dhiab, one of several hunger-striking prisoners currently asking the DC District Court to order a halt to force-feeding at the prison.

The 16 ‘press applicants’ listen on the motion are: Hearst Corporation, ABC Inc, Associated Press, Bloomberg L.P, CBS Broadcasting, Inc, The Contently Foundation, Dow Jones & Company, Inc, First Look Media, Inc, Guardian US, McClatchy Company, National Public Radio Inc, New York Times Company, Reuters America LLC, Tribune Publishing Company LLC, USA Today, and Washington Post.

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.

To date, the videos remain classified and have only been seen by Reprieve lawyers.

Commenting, Reprieve attorney for Mr Dhiab Cori Crider said: “It’s very welcome that the US media is defending Americans’ right to know what is being done in their name at Guantánamo, and a scandal that the Obama administration apparently wants to keep the truth from them.

“Mr. Dhiab and the rest of my clients have never received a trial – most have been cleared for release for years – yet their peaceful protest is being brutally repressed.

“The government keeps implying that the force-feeding tapes contain only uncontroversial material – so they ought to put up, and produce a public version of this footage, or shut up.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. For further information, please contact Reprieve’s press office: +44 207 553 8160