By Jane Sutton

MIAMI, July 3 (Reuters) - The U.S. federal court has no jurisdiction and no legal basis to intervene in the force-feeding of prisoners at the Guantanamo naval base, the Obama administration argued in a court document on Wednesday.

Additionally, the Justice Department said, the force-feeding will not compromise prisoners' religious rights because it will be done only at night during Ramadan, the holy month when Muslims fast from sunup to sundown.

Lawyers for four Guantanamo prisoners have asked the U.S. District Court in Washington to halt the force-feeding of Guantanamo prisoners, most of whom have waged a hunger strike for months to protest their indefinite detention. The lawyers argued that the procedure is painful, humiliating and violates international law.

The Justice Department filed its response on Wednesday and urged the court not to intervene in the detention operation at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba.

It was unclear when the court would rule but the prisoners' lawyers asked for a decision before Ramadan starts on Monday.


(Reporting by Jane Sutton; Editing by Vicki Allen)

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  • Photo reviewed by U.S. military officials shows the Guantanamo Bay Camp VI in Guantanamo, where 70 prisoners are detained, on Guantanamo October 23, 2010. (Getty)

  • Photo reviewed by U.S. military officials shows the Guantanamo Bay Camp VI in Guantanamo, where 70 prisoners are detained, on Guantanamo October 23, 2010. (Virginie Montet/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Photo reviewed by U.S. military officials shows 'comfort items' given to the detainees: newspaper, games and one PS3 for the whole camp at Guantanamo Bay Camp VI in Guantanamo where 70 prisoners are detained on Guantanamo October 23, 2010. (Virginie Montet/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Photo reviewed by U.S. military officials shows a silence sign inside the Guantanamo Bay Camp VI in Guantanamo, where 70 prisoners are detained, on Guantanamo October 23, 2010. (Virginie Montet/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Photo reviewed by U.S. military officials shows a class area in the Guantanamo Bay Camp VI in Guantanamo, where 70 prisoners are detained, on Guantanamo October 23, 2010. (Virginie Montet/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Photo reviewed by U.S. military officials shows a cell in the Guantanamo Bay Camp VI in Guantanamo, where 70 prisoners are detained, on Guantanamo October 23, 2010. (Virginie Montet/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Photo reviewed by U.S. military officials shows a senior medical officer demonstrating how the detainees who refuse to eat are fed with a feeding tube in the hospital of the Guantanamo Bay Camp VI in Guantanamo. (Virginie Montet/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Photo reviewed by U.S. military officials shows Lieutenant Colonel Andrews McManus, deputy commander of the Joint detention group commander, inside the hospital for the detainees of the Camp VI in Guantanamo Bay. (Virginie Montet/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Photo reviewed by U.S. military officials shows a recreation area in Camp VI in Guantanamo Bay. (Virginie Montet/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Photo reviewed by U.S. military officials shows Camp VI in Guantanamo Bay. (Virginie Montet/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Photo reviewed by U.S. military officials shows Camp VI entrance in Guantanamo. (Virginie Montet/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Photo reviewed by U.S. military officials shows Camp VI in Guantanamo Bay. (Virginie Montet/AFP/Getty Images)

  • <em>Image has been reviewed by the U.S. Military prior to transmission.</em> A U.S. military guard tower stands on the perimeter of a detainee camp at the U.S. detention center for 'enemy combatants' on September 16, 2010, in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. With attempts by the Obama administration to close the facility stalled, some than 170 detainees remain at the detention center, which was opened by the Bush administration after the attacks of 9/11. The facility is run by Joint Task Force Guantanamo, located on the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay on the southeastern coast of Cuba. (John Moore/Getty Images)

  • Photo reviewed by U.S. military officials shows Camp Justice, where the media is housed on Guantanamo, October 22, 2010. (Virginie Montet/AFP/Getty Images)

  • <em>Image has been reviewed by the U.S. Military prior to transmission.</em> A U.S. military guard tower stands on the perimeter of a detainee camp at the U.S. detention center for 'enemy combatants' on September 16, 2010, in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (John Moore/Getty Images)