Gitmo Detainees: Our 'Inhumane' Force-Feeding Must Stop

Home / Gitmo Detainees: Our 'Inhumane' Force-Feeding Must Stop

Four detainees at the US offshore Guantanamo prison have filed a federal lawsuit demanding an immediate halt to the regular practice of pumping prisoners with drugs and force-feeding them, tactics employed by military ‘medical professionals’ in attempt to break the detainees’ ongoing hunger strike.

The motion was brought by the lawyers of Shaker Aamer, Nabil Hadjarab, Ahmed Belbacha and Abu Wa’el Dhiab, all of whom have been cleared for release yet continue to be detained.

The inmates and their lawyers declare this policy a gross violation of human rights.

“I am participating in this hunger strike of my own free choice…hunger striking is the sole peaceful means that I have to protest my indefinite detention,” said detainee Belbacha in a declaration that accompanied the plaintiff’s motion.

And Hadjarab, also being force-fed, added: “I do not want to die, but I am prepared to. All I am asking is that I be given the choice whether to eat.”

Reglan, the drug administered during forced-feedings, has severe side-effects, including depression and suicidal thoughts. According to the FDA warnings, the drug can also spark Parkinsons-like symptoms.

166 people are still incarcerated at the military prison in Cuba that has been widely condemned for inhumane conditions, systematic use of torture, and absence of due process for inmates, including long-term indefinite detentions without trial or formal charges.


Over 100 detainees have been on hunger strike since February to protest these conditions. As Reuters reports:

The detainees’ lawyers—with the London-based group Reprieve—say that the forced-feedings are of particular concern as the Muslim holiday of Ramadan draws near. A Reprieve statement reads:

In response to the lawyers’ demand for quick action, U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collye gave the government until Wednesday evening to respond.


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