US gives 8 ‘Guantanamo tapes’ to court in First Amendment tussle

September 15, 2015

The US government has handed over to a D.C. court tapes showing former Guantanamo detainee Abu Wa’el Dhiab being force-fed and subjected to FCE (forcible-cell extraction) or so-called ‘tackle and shackle’.

The tapes – 8 of which have been released to the court, out of 32 in total – have been redacted by government censors. They have been viewed by lawyers from human rights charity Reprieve, which represents Mr Dhiab, in a secure facility.

The Obama administration is also asking Judge Gladys Kessler to withdraw her order, handed down in October of last year, that the public must be able to see the tapes.

Alongside lawyers for Mr Dhiab, 16 news outlets – including the New York Times, Associated Press and Guardian – have joined the legal filing seeking release of the Guantanamo tapes to the public on First Amendment grounds.

Cori Crider, one of Mr Dhiab’s lawyers and strategic director at Reprieve, said: “The President promised us the most transparent administration in history, but his lawyers keep filing briefs which make a joke of that promise. Has the President ever seen these videos that his lawyers are trying so hard to withhold from the public? Has anyone in his administration viewed them? It is a disgrace that they are refusing to make any comment on this whatsoever. The American public deserve to know what is being done in their name. The tapes must be released.”