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Guantanamo prisoner on hunger strike wants US court to let him starve to death

[JURIST] A Guantanamo detainee on hunger strike [JURIST report] has asked for a motion ordering his feeding tube to be removed so that he can starve to death, his lawyers said Tuesday. Kuwaiti Fawzi al-Odah [Project Kuwaiti Freedom profile], 28, has been imprisoned without charges at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] since his arrest in Pakistan in 2002. He has been force-fed through a tube since at least a month; attorneys said in late September that he was one of two hunger-striking Kuwaiti detainees who could then barely sit up or talk [JURIST report]. His lawyers will wait to file the motion until they receive the approval of al-Odah’s doctors and family [Amnesty International video interview with father], who oppose the request. Attorney Tom Wilner, who represents al-Odah, anticipates a legal and ethical dilemma, including the "conflict" between the wishes of al-Odah and his family. US military leaders at the camp treat hunger striking as a suicide attempt and seek ways to prevent it, such as force feeding through nasal tubes. Detainee lawyers recently made allegations of prisoner abuse [JURIST report] connected to the ongoing hunger strike, which began August 8 with 76 prisoners; the Pentagon lists the current number of strikers at 26. Al-Odah was previously at the center of the 2004 US Supreme Court ruling Al Odah v. US, joined with Rasul v. Bush [PDF], holding that Guantanamo detainees have recourse to the US federal courts. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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