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National Issues


Akron lawyer awaits Guantanamo forced feeding ruling
A federal judge on Friday called for a temporary halt on forced feedings of Guantanamo detainees, a permanent ban could come on Wednesday
by WKSU's JEFF ST. CLAIR


Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
 
A guard looks over the Joint Task Force Guantanamo detention facility. For the first time a U.S. District Court judge has ruled on the treatment of detainees. A ruling Wednesday could lead to a permanent ban on the forced feeding of hunger strikers, and a new round of litigation regarding the treatment of the 154 men imprisoned at Guantanamo.
Courtesy of U.S.A.F. Gino Reyes
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A federal judge in Washington could issue a ruling this week to permanently ban the force feeding of hunger-strikers at Guantanamo Bay. 

WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair reports, one Northeast Ohio lawyer will be closely watching the proceedings.

St.Clair - Guantanamo lawyer awaits ruling

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Carlos Warner is a federal public defender based in Akron. In 2008, he was assigned to defend 13 Guantanamo detainees.

Last year some of his clients joined a wide-spread hunger strike at the high security facility.

Military officials have been force feeding the more than a dozen remaining hunger-strikers, a practice a federal judge temporary halted on Friday.

Warner says it’s the first time a US court has ruled on practices inside Guantanamo.

He says, “The courts now see that they have a telescope into the prison and if something unconstitutional or something barbaric is going on they can stop it.”

The judge also ordered the military to retain video tapes of the procedures.  Warner says the tapes, and a permanent ban on force feeding could lead to a review of conditions at Guantanamo.

Warner says, “The way that they’re being held in solitary confinement, the way that they’re being cut off from the world, the way they interfere with our attorney / client relationships, all those can be explored in district courts anew.”

Pentagon officials say they are abiding by the judge’s temporary order.

(Click image for larger view.)

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