POLITICS
07/03/2013 12:30 pm ET Updated Sep 02, 2013

Obama Administration: Federal Court Can't Intervene In Guantanamo Force-Feeding

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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