A pretty strong signal from Judge Gladys Kessler, who today rejected GTMO detainee Jihad Dhiab’s motion for a preliminary injunction to stop force feeding. (His is but one of four such motions, all brought simultaneously and seeking identical relief; the three other detainees’ motions are still pending before Judge Rosemary Collyer.)
In her order, Judge Kessler notes that the circumstances are no different than they were when the District Court refused to grant an injunction in Al-Adahi back in 2009 on jurisdictional grounds. Thus the court has no jurisdiction in this case, either, Judge Kessler says. She acknowledges, however, that Dhiab has laid out a strong case in support of the argument that force-feeding of prisoners violates Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
At the same time, Judge Kessler doesn’t find convincing the government’s defense of the detainee healthcare system at GTMO as “timely [and] compassionate.” Despite the government’s claims, she writes:
[I]t is perfectly clear from the statements of detainees, as well as the statements from the organizations just cited, that force-feeding is a painful, humiliating, and degrading process.
She concludes with a suggestion that the President has authority to intercede on behalf of Dhiab:
Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution provides that “[t]he President shall be the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States. . . ” It would seem to follow, therefore, that the President of the United States, as Commander-in-Chief, has the authority — and power — to directly address the issue of force-feeding of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay.