Judge orders government to turn over Guantanamo videos

WASHINGTON Wed May 21, 2014 12:55pm EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal judge who last week blocked the force-feeding of a prisoner on a hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay ordered the government on Wednesday to turn over videos showing the prisoner forced from his cell and fed through a tube.

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler told the U.S. Justice Department to turn over more than 30 videos to lawyers for the Syrian prisoner, Abu Wa'el Dhiab, as well as some of his 2013 medical records.

"The plaintiff's position is very reasonable," Kessler said at a court hearing as she told the government to turn over the records.

Last year during a hunger strike at Guantanamo, as many as 46 of 166 inmates were force-fed at least some meals. Several sued, but last week was the first time a judge ordered a halt to the practice.

Kessler did not address in public when she would lift the temporary bar, which remains in place.

President Barack Obama promised to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp soon after he took office in 2008, but that plan has been thwarted by difficulties in moving the detainees either to the U.S. or to their home countries.

(Reporting by Aruna Viswanatha; Editing by David Gregorio)

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