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Denver, CO Martial Law Blog

Sunday, August 31, 2014

GITMO Nurse Pending Court Martial

For years, there has been controversy surrounding the United States military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  The prison was opened after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and houses mostly terror suspects.    Although many prisoners have been released under the current administration, there are still 149 detainees at the prison that is run by the Joint Task Force-Guantanamo.

Some of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay have been held for years without criminal charges or a trial.  Although it is not the first, some prisoners have been involved in a long time hunger strike protesting their confinements.  As a result, medical staff, usually sent to the prison in six month assignments, have to force feed the prisoners using feeding tubes. One United States Navy nurse has refused to participate in the force feedings.  While he initially complied with the orders to force feed the detainees on strike, he eventually decided that he was uncomfortable with this and objected.  He was the only member of the medical staff that refused to participate.  As a result of his objection, his commanders reassigned him to do administrative work.  He was eventually sent back to the United States on leave and did not complete his tour.  

The Navy has refused to identify the nurse by name, but a prisoner has described him as approximately 40 years old and Latino.  It has also been released that the nurse’s home base is in the Northeastern United States.  At this point, the nurse has not been brought up on any formal charges or subjected to any disciplinary proceedings.  Army officials overseeing the prison have said that he is pending a court martial.  The violations he will be charged with are unclear at this point.

Being subject to a court martial can have serious consequences.  As this is a unique area of law it is important to have an experienced attorney to protect your rights.  The attorneys at Elkus, Sisson & Rosenstein have years of experience defending service members at court martial.  Call us at (303)567-7981 for a free consultation today. 

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