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No Longer Hunger-Strikers: DOJ Files Letter in Aamer v. Obama

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Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 12:00 PM

On Thursday the Justice Department filed a letter notifying the D.C. Circuit that none of the four Guantanamo detainees protesting government force-feeding in Aamer v. Obama are any longer designated hunger-strikers. Nabil Hadjarab was transferred to Algeria in August; the other three have had their designation as hunger-strikers “removed” over the last three months. Most recently, Jihad Dhiab’s designation as a hunger-striker was removed on October 18—the day of oral argument in the case.

The letter reads, in full:

We write to inform the court of a recent factual development that may potentially affect the Court’s jurisdiction.

Subsequent to oral argument in this case, counsel for respondents learned that petitioner Jihad Dhiab’s designation as a hunger striker was removed on October 18, 2013. As respondents noted in their brief (at 4), in late August, petitioner Shaker Aamer’s designation as a hunger striker was removed and petitioner Nabil Hadjarab was transferred to the custody of the Government of Algeria. And after respondents filed their brief, in early September, petitioner Ahmed Belbacha’s designation as a hunger striker was also removed. As a result of these factual changes that occurred during the pendency of this appeal, none of the four petitioners in these consolidated cases is currently designated as a hunger striker or approved for enteral feeding

For background on the case, check out our coverage here. The Miami Herald has a timeline tracking the number of hunger-strikers being tube-fed—currently 14.