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Guantanamo Bay detainees are to be allowed to contest unlawful conditions of their imprisonment.
Lawyers for the US Department of Justice (DoJ) decided today not to contest a landmark judgement giving the concentration camp prisoners the right to take their cases to a federal court.
On February 11, the US Court of Appeals said not enough evidence was presented to stop the military’s force-feeding practices, but did rule that Guantanamo prisoners had the right to challenge their illegal treatment.
Prisoners have since submitted extensive additional evidence that the current practice, which involves a feeding tube over a metre long and a multiple-point restraint chair, is inhumane.
In an email to British resident Shaker Aamer’s counsel, the DoJ said it would not be seeking a rehearing before today's deadline.
That clears the way for challenges to force-feeding brought by Mr Aamer and other detainees.
Human rights charity Reprieve US chairman Eric Lewis said the government had taken “the right postion.”
He added: “We hope that we will have co-operation in eliminating the gratuitous cruelty with which detainees asserting their human dignity have been treated.”
Attorney Jon Eisenberg, who argued the appeal, said: “We anticipate a quick return to the district court.
“We are confident the judges of that court will expeditiously put a stop to the abusive and torturous force-feeding practices that happening right now at Guantanamo Bay.”
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