Guantánamo Bay

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

By March 27, 2014 No Comments

Ahmed RabbaniA 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 2002, 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 long-term 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 is due 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.

Eric Lewis, partner at Lewis Baach pllc and Chair of Reprieve US, said:“Ahmed  Rabbani today adds his voice to the mounting legal challenge to abusive practices at Guantánamo Bay. It is well past time for US judges to intervene, and to halt the daily brutality at the camp. The military must be forced to apply humane medical standards to those languishing without charge or trial at Guantánamo Bay.”

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.”

ENDS

1. The full pleadings in Mohammad Ahmad Gulam Rabbani v Barack Obama may be downloaded below as soon as they are filed in court. For more information and to arrange interviews with the legal team or medical experts please contact Katherine O’Shea (US) katherine.oshea@reprieve.org or +1 917 855 8064.

2. Reprieve US opened in New York City in February 2014. A partner organization to Reprieve UK, Reprieve US provides advocacy and litigation aimed at stopping abuses in the death penalty and in counter-terrorism. For information about the work of Reprieve US please visit reprieve.org or contact Katherine O’Shea on katherine.oshea@reprieve.org or +1 917 855 8064.

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