First Nurse Refuses to Force Feed Guantanamo Bay Prisoners

Brennan Linsley/AP File Photo

A Navy nurse at Guantanamo Bay refused to force feed inmates on hunger strike, a prisoner at the facility told his lawyer.  

“There was a recent instance of a medical provider not willing to carry-out the enteral feeding of a detainee. The matter is in the hands of the individual’s leadership,” the Pentagon told TIME. “The service member has been temporarily assigned to alternate duties with no impact to medical support operations.”

Abu Wa'el Dhiab, who has been a prisoner at the U.S. detention center since 2002, told his lawyer the nurse's refusal to carry out the feeding was an objection to the facilities policy of force-feeding inmates currently on an 18 month hunger strike.Prisoners are protesting the American policy of holding many of them indefinitely as well as delaying their release dates.  President Obama vowed to close the facility in 2008 but has struggled to do so. 

Dhiab's attorney, Cori Crider told CNN that her client described the decision not to carry out the feeding of inmates as a moral and ethical protest against the policy. 

"Initially, he did carry out his orders and participate in the tube feedings. But when he came, as soon as he saw what was happening, he started talking to the brothers," Dhiab was quoted as telling Crider. "He explained to us: 'Before we came here, we were told a different story. The story we were told was completely the opposite of what I saw.' Once he saw with his own eyes that what he was told was contrary to what was actually taking place here, he decided he could not do it anymore."

Dhiab is challenging the force-feeding policy in court, the Miami Herald reported. The Pentagon says the process is designed to keep patients from starving to death. 

In daily feedings a Guantanamo inmate is forcibly shackled and tied to a chair where they are administered nutritional supplements by Navy medical personnel from a tube running through their nose, down their throat and into their stomach. 

Federal judge, Gladys Kessler, who flip-flopped on Dhiab's challenge of the legality of the force feeding policies in May will hold a hearing on the issue later this summer. At that time she'll also rule on permitting news organizations access to a video that reportedly shows prison guards tackling and detaining inmates prior to feedings. 

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.