Podcast: Guantanamo Prisoner’s Attorney on Importance of Public Seeing Videos of His Forced-Feedings
On this week’s episode of Unauthorized Disclosure Kevin Gosztola and I speak with Cori Crider of Reprieve about the ongoing torture of her client, Guantanamo prisoner Abu Wa’el Dhiab. During the discussion portion, we chat about the outrageous police violence and brave activism we witnessed in St. Louis during Ferguson October. (Download the episode here or subscribe for free on iTunes here).
Guantanamo prisoner Abu Wa’el Dhiab has been pursuing a lawsuit against President Barack Obama’s administration to force the government stop using force-feeding to punish him while he is on hunger strike and protesting against his continued indefinite detention, even though he has been cleared for release.
There were legal proceedings in recent weeks, where a federal judge heard testimony about his treatment. The lawyers filed a “post-trial brief” on October 17, which argued that Dhiab has suffered an “unacceptable and unconstitutional degree of cruelty and incompetence” by authorities who have “sought to suppress” Dhiab’s “peaceful protest by causing him gratuitous pain.”
Judge Gladys Kessler has ordered that videos of Dhiab’s force-feedings and forcible removal from his cell for those sessions be released to media organizations for the public to see. But the government requested a 30-day delay to prepare and file an appeal and have, as of now, managed to stall the disclosure of videos to the press.
This week on the “Unauthorized Disclosure” podcast the guest is Cori Crider, a director for Reprieve and a counsel representing Dhiab. She describes the kind of treatment Dhiab has suffered in Guantanamo and why he decided to bring a lawsuit against the United States government. She highlights the significance of 32 videos of Dhiab’s force-feeding and forced removal from his cell, which a federal judge has ordered be released (although the government is appealing). She also discusses the critical role she plays as an attorney who can publicly advocate for Dhiab while he remains in indefinite detention.
During the discussion portion, Gosztola and Khalek debrief and reflect on “Ferguson October,” since they were both there in St. Louis last weekend to cover the “weekend of resistance.” Then, the show highlights plans by the Obama administration to build a new rebel force for battle in Syria, a bill that passed in Pennsylvania which will make it possible for inmates and former offenders to be silenced if they want to engage in speech and a report that only 4% of US drone strike victims in Pakistan have been al Qaeda.