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Hunger strike detainee force-fed

Posted in the database on Sunday, February 26th, 2006 @ 14:55:27 MST (2157 views)
by Kanwal Tariq Hameed    The Gulf Daily News  

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A Bahraini detainee at Guantanamo Bay was allegedly assaulted and force-fed by an Immediate Response Force (IRF) team after refusing to end a more than three-month hunger strike, it was revealed yesterday.

Isa Al Murbati, 42, told his lawyers how prison officials forced him to break his hunger strike during their January visit to the incarceration facility, lawyers from New York-based Dorsey and Whitney firm told the GDN.

The technique included strapping him to a restraint chair, feeding him liquids and laxatives and preventing him from access to the toilet and cutting off water supplies to his cell, removing towels and bed-sheets after turning on the air-conditioner, Mr Al Murbati told legal team head Joshua Colangelo-Bryan.

Mr Al Murbati was reportedly moved to Camp Echo in December last year, after being kept in the detainee hospital for a few months.

He was told by a lieutenant on Eid that according to new rules "hunger strikes would end", Mr Colangelo-Bryan said.

"Isa was told that if he didn't eat solid food he would be shackled and given two bags of fluids per feeding and that his feeding tube would be inserted and removed at each time he was fed.

"The lieutenant said that if Isa didn't co-operate the IRF would be called.

"That day Isa refused to eat solid food or be shackled and the IRF was called.

"IRF members picked Isa up by his throat and one guard pressed a hand over his nose, preventing him from breathing.

"They threw him on the floor and sat on his back. Isa said that this was very painful because due to the hunger strike his "bones were sticking out of his body".

"Mr Al Murbati was then strapped to a restraint chair and a tube was inserted 'roughly' into his nose, said Mr Colangelo-Bryan.

He was then fed two bags of fluids, one containing nutritional supplements Two Cal and Jevity and water, and another containing the same mixture as well as Magistrate, a "very strong laxative", he said.

"A bag contains 1,200cc of fluid and each bag was administered in approximately 20 minutes.

"Isa said that his stomach pained like a "knife in his stomach" after he received the liquids.

"One doctor I spoke to said that he would never give more than 100cc of fluid per hour to someone on a hunger strike.

"Isa said that the pressure in his stomach was unbearable.

"Isa was kept strapped to the restraint chair for an hour after the feeding and was not allowed to use the bathroom, said Mr Colangelo-Bryan.

Water supply to his cell was turned off for an hour after he was returned, apparently, to make it difficult for him to use the bathroom, he said.

This process was repeated twice a day, he added.

"The tube used during these feedings had a small metal tip on the end. When the tube was removed there were small pieces of flesh on the metal piece.

"After four days, Isa could not bear this treatment and agreed to eat solid food."

"In today's New York Times, the military has admitted that it strapped detainees into chairs to force feed them," Mr Colangelo Bryan added.

The three Bahrainis at Guantanamo Bay are Mr Al Murbati, Salah Abdulrasool Al Balooshi and Juma Mohammed Al Dossary.



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