In the meantime, the court will advance a "speedy exchange" of information about terrorism detainee Mohammed Abu Wa'el Dhiab's request to stop what he describes as abusive forced feedings, U.S. District Court Judge Gladys Kessler ruled late Thursday.
Dhiab, 42, a Syrian, was arrested in Pakistan in 2002 and has been detained in the U.S. military's facility for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo for more than 10 years, according to the London-based human rights group Reprieve.
Dhiab has stopped eating, and his case is example of the forced feedings at Guantanamo, which the U.S. government has been administering typically to detainees who go on hunger strikes. Dhiab was cleared for release by the Obama administration in 2009 and has never been charged, Reprieve's website said.
Kessler said the court "is now faced with an anguishing Hobson's choice: reissue another temporary restraining order despite the very real probability that Mr. Dhiab will die, because he has indicated a continuing desire to refuse to eat and/or drink liquids, or refuse to issue the TRO and allow the medical personnel on the scene to take the medical actions to keep Mr. Dhiab alive, but at the possible cost of great pain and suffering."
"The Court is in no position to make the complex medical decisions necessary to keep Mr. Dhiab alive," the judge said. "Thanks to the intransigence of the Department of Defense, Mr. Dhiab may well suffer unnecessary pain from certain enteral feeding practices and forcible cell extractions. However, the Court simply cannot let Mr. Dhiab die."
The judge noted that Mr. Dhiab's physical condition has been "swiftly deteriorating, in large part because he was refusing food and/or water."