A federal court has forced the US government to reveal that it has secretly recorded dozens of force-feedings of just one Guantánamo Bay detainee, raising the prospect that the military possesses a vast video library of a practice criticised as abusive.

On Wednesday, a federal judge decreed that lawyers for that detainee can view hours of his videotaped force feedings, the first time a non-government official will be permitted to view the secret recordings.

Before last week, the Defense Department did not even acknowledge that videotapes of its enteral feedings of hunger striking detainees – conducted by inserting a tube into the stomach through the nose – even existed.

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