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Statement of the OIC of Prison Operations regarding the forced cell extraction of Ahmed Zuhair for purposes of forced feeding

Ahmed Zaid Salem Zuhair v. Barack Obama, et al.
Civil Action No. 08-CV-0864 (EGS)
Document 161-2 (Exhibit 1)
Filed 03/16/2009

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 5 1746, I, Bruce E. Vargo, hereby declare:

1. I am a Colonel in the United States Army with over 23 years of active duty service. I currently serve as the Commander of the Joint Detention Group (JDG) for the Joint Task Force-Guantanamo Bay Naval Base ("JTF-GTMO"). I am responsible for all aspects of detention operations for Camp Delta. I have served in this position since 30 June 2007. I have personal
knowledge of the matters stated herein, as well as information made available to me through my official duties.

[…]

11. I have been informed that subsequent to Dr. Emily A. Keram's medical examination of ISN 669 she informed the Court that ISN 669 has agreed to end his hunger strike if he is transferred to Camp 4. I have also been informed that the Court has asked the government to serious[ly] consider transferring ISN 669 to Camp 4 in order to facilitate an end to his hunger strike.

12. A review of ISN 669's record indicates a total number of eighty disciplinary infractions over the past four months, including those that require the use of a Forced Cell Extraction team. These incidents include refusing to walk tolfrom a feeding chair.

[…]

20. On January 25, ISN 669 was moved from Camp 1 back into Camp 6 […] ISN 669 was transferred because space had become available again in Camp 6 and to logistically consolidate guard force and medical staff to facilitate enteral feeding operations […]

21. On February 9, 2009, ISN 669 was moved to the detention hospital. ISN 669 has remained under the care of the Joint Medical Group personnel since that time in order to monitor his weight and overall health. As of March 16, ISN 669 weighs 113.8 pounds and the medical staff has assessed ISN 669 to be in good condition.

22. ISN 669's hunger striking and enteral feeding is irrelevant to the Petitioner's location in the camps. Once Petitioner ceases his hunger striking and does not need to be enterally fed, he will be moved into the regular blocks of Camp 6. Once he complies with the rules and procedures of the camp and undergoes the necessary vetting process, Petitioner will be moved back to Camp 4.

I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.

Dated: 16 March 2009                                                               [SIGNED]
                                                                                                 Bruce E. Vargo
                                                                                                 Colonel, U.S. Army

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