Israel a step closer to Guantanamo-style force-feeding of hunger-striking prisoners

Israeli politicians have voted to continue work on a bill to allow hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners to be force-fed. Opponents argue it’s meant to silence convicts through torture similar to the force-feeding in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay.

The vote passed with a small majority Monday night at the Knesset plenum. The controversial bill, which could be soon fast-tracked into law, would allow prisons to seek official permission to force-feed a prisoner if a doctor advises there is a grave risk to the prisoner’s health.

The Israel Medical Association (IMA) has been strongly opposing the controversial bill, along with the American Medical Association, the British Medical Association, and the International Committee of the Red Cross, just to name a few.

“Force-feeding of hunger strikers is considered to be a form of torture,” the IMA says, stating that the World Medical Association’s (WMA) 1975 Tokyo Declaration prohibiting the participation of doctors in the practice of torture also prohibits doctors’ involvement in force-feeding.