US court blocks release of Guantanamo force-feeding videos

A "feeding chair" the US military has used to force feed prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility (AFP Photo/MLADEN ANTONOV)

Washington (AFP) - A US federal appeals court on Friday blocked the release of videos showing a prisoner being force-fed at the Guantanamo prison in Cuba, citing national security.

The three-judge court in Washington said in its ruling that the public interest in what happens at the prison housing US terror suspects is trumped by "the government's compelling interest in guarding national security."

The court reversed a lower federal court ruling that had approved the release of the videos after a lawsuit filed by more than a dozen media companies arguing the public had the right to see them.

The release of the videos had been suspended in anticipation of the appeals court decision.

The US Army filmed the force-feeding of Syrian-born Jihad Diyab, a prisoner on a hunger strike at Guantanamo, to provide training to those who conduct the controversial measure.

The US authorities said the videos were a defense secret, warning that their release could threaten national security.

The prisoner was resettled in Uruguay in December 2014 as part of then-president Barack Obama's efforts -- ultimately unsuccessful -- to close the military detention center on the US naval base in the Caribbean island.

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