Police state : Guantánamo : torture continues


Richard Moore


Center for Constitutional Rights

Attorneys for Gitmo Detainees on Hunger Strike Win Court
Order to Receive Medical Records


On October 25, 2005, in Washington, D.C., United States
District Court Judge Gladys Kessler issued an opinion in
the case of four Saudi nationals on hunger strike at the
Guantánamo Bay prison camp. In an emergency hearing the
week of October 14, lawyers with the New York-based law
firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP,
which is working in conjunction with the Center for
Constitutional Rights (CCR) argued for contact with their
clients and immediate access to their medical records. The
attorneys voiced grave concern for their clients' health,
which has reached critical condition since the men began a
hunger strike in early August 2005.

In her decision, Judge Kessler ordered the government to

notice to attorneys within 24 hours of forced feedings of
their clients

medical records for detainees to counsel one week prior to
the date forced feedings begin

medical records on an (at minimum) weekly basis until
conclusion of forced feedings

The attorneys' request for detainees to be provided phone
access to their counsel and families was denied. The
decision comes after the release of declassified notes
taken by attorney Julia Tarver, whose firm represents 10
Saudi nationals. In those notes details emerged that
during interviews conducted at Guantánamo with her
clients, Yousef Al Shehri, Abduhl-Rahman Shalabi, and
Majid Al Joudi, the men revealed the dire conditions they
are facing at Guantánamo. They include force-feedings
resulting in "vomiting up substantial amounts of blood,"
continued verbal and physical abuse of detainees, the
presence of medical personal during abusive/improper
conduct by military personnel, and unsanitary conditions.
All of these conditions resulted in the further
deterioration of the men's mental and physical health.
Tarver expressed grave concern for her clients, two of
whom had been carried in to their meetings with her on
stretchers and had difficulty communicating.

"We are very pleased with this result. It reaffirms our
faith in the American system of justice, where no one --
not even the Government itself -- is above the rule of
law. However, we still have grave concerns about the
condition of our clients, some of whom are young boys, who
have spent nearly four years without charge, isolated
miles away from their families, and are rapidly losing
hope that justice will ever prevail for them," said Julia
Tarver, partner with the New York City law firm Paul,
Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and a CCR
cooperating attorney.

Bill Goodman, Legal Director at the Center for
Constitutional Rights, stated, "The Guantánamo hunger
strikers are willing to die unless they get humane
treatment, including some small measure of justice.
Today's ruling vindicates their demand for judicial
oversight of the Defense Department's systematic
violations of human rights. Bloody force-feeding with
dirty tubes is barbaric."

© 2005 CCR 


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