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US Court Orders Declassification of Guantanamo Bay Prisoner Videos: Reports

RIA Novosti

14:55 04/10/2014

MOSCOW, October 4 (RIA Novosti) - A US Federal District Court judge ordered the public disclosure of 28 previously classified videos, showing a Guantanamo Bay prisoner on hunger-strike being force-fed and forcibly removed from his cell, the New York Times reported.

'I want Americans to see what is going on at the prison today so they will understand why we are hunger-striking, and why the prison should be closed,' a hunger-striking detainee held in the prison for 12 years without trial, Jihad Ahmed Mujstafa Diyab was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

The Obama administration, opposed the court's decision to declassify the video, noting that it could jeopardize national security, but Judge Gladys Kessler ruled that the First Amendment to the US Constitution overrides the government's arguments, the New York Times reported.

'We are reviewing the decision and considering our options,' said Nicole Navas, a Justice Department spokeswoman.

It is unknown when the records will be made public. According to the judge, the Justice Department may appeal against its decision to a higher court.

The hunger strike of Guantanamo detainees began in February 2013 when prisoners stopped eating in protest of being held for long periods of time without trial or necessary prison transfers. While some prisoners began to eat again, others lost weight. Amid fears of starvation, the prison began force-feeding detainees through a procedure which pumps a nutritional supplement into prisoners' stomachs through a tube inserted in their nose.

In February 2014, an appeals court ruling that the judiciary could oversee prison conditions brought the videotapes of force-feeding to light.

US President Barack Obama has repeatedly put forward the initiative to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and transfer its inmates to other prisons. According to Obama, the prison threatens the interests of US national security.

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