A federal trial judge in Washington today declined to force the government to stop the force-feeding of a group of detainees at the Guantánamo Bay naval facility.
The judge, Gladys Kessler of U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, said she felt "constrained" in refusing to grant an injunction blocking the continued force-feeding of a group of detainees who are participating in a hunger strike. Kessler's ruling is here.
Despite statements from the U.S. Justice Department that detainees receive "timely, compassionate" health care, the judge wrote today, "it is perfectly clear… that force-feeding is a painful, humiliating and degrading process."
Kessler, citing her lack of power to terminate the process, said she was obligated to dismiss the request lodged by the lawyers representing four detainees. Still, the judge said, "there is an individual who does have the authority to address the issue." Kessler pointed to President Barack Obama.