A hunger-striking prisoner in Guantánamo Bay whose force-feeding prompted a highly critical ruling from a federal judge accusing the Department of Defense of “intransigence” and of inflicting possibly “unnecessary pain” has complained that he is once again being subjected to harsh treatment amounting to torture.
Abu Wa'el Dhiab said that in the past 10 days he had suffered especially harsh treatment from what he called “the rough team” of guards brought from another military camp to give him enteral feeding. He said the team “takes you very roughly, with torture”.
Dhiab’s complaint was recorded in a declaration released on Tuesday by Jon Eisenberg, part of the human rights group Reprieve’s legal team representing the Syrian detainee. The lawyer based the declaration on a phone conversation with the prisoner on Sunday, though Eisenberg stated that he had been unable to confirm every element of the account.
On 16 May, in the first intervention into the Guantánamo hunger strike by a judge, Gladys Kessler of the US district court for the District of Columbia, imposed a temporary halt to Dhiab’s force-feeding. A week later, she allowed the process to recommence, but only because she said the prisoner was at risk of dying as a result of his refusal to eat.