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Hunger Strike Standard Operating Procedure, August 11, 2005

The Department of Defense has released a 2005 document detailing the standard operating procedures for hunger striking prisoners in Guantanamo. In this document, Voluntary and Voluntary Total Fasting and Refeeding, we read that

The DH OIC [or Detainee Hospital Officer in Command] will do everything within his/her means to monitor and protect the health and welfare of hunger striking detainees including involuntary intravenous hydration and/or enteral tube feeding if necessary (Voluntary and Voluntary Total Fasting and Refeeding, 1)

Forced feeding of Guantánamo prisoners must be approved in writing by the JTF-GTMO commander, who must inform of his decision to the Commander of USSOUTHCOM and, through him/her, to appropriate Joint Staff and Department of Defense offices:

In the event a detainee refrains from eating to the point where involuntary feeding is required, no direct action will be taken without the knowledge and written approval of the JTF-GTMO Commander. If the JTF-GTMO Commander, as the approval authority, makes the decision to authorize involuntary re-feeding of a detainee, he will immediately inform the Commander, USSOUTHCOM, of his decision. In turn, the Commander, SOUTHCOM, will notify appropriate Joint Staff and Department of Defense offices of the need to initiate involuntary re-feeding of a detainee (Voluntary and Voluntary Total Fasting and Refeeding, 1f).

Daily lists are to be kept of the Guantánamo prisoners in hunger strike:

A list of those detainees on hunger strike will be forwarded by the DCSS to JDG/S3 and to the SNE and this information will be included in the daily SITREP [the primary record of all patient interactions with medical staff at the Guantanamo Hospital] (p. 3).

Forced feeding of prisoners is categorically forbidden by ethical conventions adopted by physicians worldwide.


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