Guantánamo Prisoner Ahmed Rabbani Joins Legal Challenge to Force-Feeding Abuse

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Katherine O’Shea (US) katherine.oshea@reprieve.org or +1 917 855 8064.

Guantánamo Prisoner Ahmed Rabbani Joins Legal Challenge to Force-Feeding Abuse

WASHINGTON - A father of three from Pakistan will today join historic litigation demanding that a US court of law intervene to halt prisoner abuse at Guantánamo Bay.

Ahmed Rabbani, who has been held without charge or trial since 2005, is being abusively force-fed and harshly disciplined as part of the military’s efforts to break his year-long hunger strike. He suffers from serious medical problems as a result.

Unlike prisoners held on US soil, Ahmed has previously been barred from challenging the legality of the methods by which he is force-fed at Guantánamo Bay. Last month, he was granted the right to do so by DC’s federal court of appeals, and on March 11 fellow prisoner Imad Abdullah Hasan filed the historic first challenge to the procedure. Today, Ahmed will file his own claim in federal court, and the military will be required to answer to a judge on his daily ordeal.

The mounting litigation against the regime at Guantánamo exposes the daily brutality of the force-feeding process, which the military has rendered progressively more painful in order to break hunger strikes at the camp.

Ahmed’s legal team will add their argument to growing evidence that Guantánamo’s force-feeding of peaceful protesters amounts to torture. Ahmed’s motion to enjoin his abusive force-feeding will be filed in the DC District Court today (Thursday March 27) by Eric Lewis of Lewis Baach, Jon B. Eisenberg and Alka Pradhan of Reprieve US.

Alka Pradhan, Reprieve US counsel for Ahmed Rabbani, said: “Under the guise of keeping them alive, Mr Rabbani and his fellow hunger-strikers are being abused and degraded simply for exercising their right to peaceful protest. They have suffered enough. At the very least, the court must order the inhumane Guantanamo force-feeding practices to follow those used on US soil.”

Jon Eisenberg, pro bono counsel for Mr Rabbani, said: “It is sadly ironic that, while Washington debates torture by the CIA a decade ago, it is happening right now at Guantanamo Bay on President Obama’s watch.”

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Reprieve is a UK-based human rights organization that uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay.

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