A federal judge voiced sympathy Monday for Guantanamo Bay detainees but said she was powerless to stop force-feeding by U.S. authorities.
Ruling just before Ramadan, the monthlong holiday when pious Muslims fast during the day, Senior U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler said she lacked the legal jurisdiction to stop the force-feeding program challenged by four detainees. At the same time, Kessler all but urged President Barack Obama to take action as she underscored the unpleasant feeding regime that’s being meted out to detainees who’ve gone on hunger strikes.
“It is perfectly clear . . . that forced-feeding is a painful, humiliating and degrading process,” Kessler wrote.
Forty-five Guantanamo Bay detainees are currently being force-fed, out of 106 who are known to be on hunger strikes. The force-feeding takes place twice a day, as guards restrain the detainees in chairs and medical technicians snake tubes through their nostrils and into their stomachs so that liquid nutrients may be forced in.