Prisons Can Force-Feed Hunger-Striking Terrorists, Knesset Says
The Knesset on Thursday approved on its second and third reading a law that would allow prison officials to force-feed hunger-striking prisoners. Prison wardens will be able to make requests of the courts for a permit to force-feed a prisoner, based on the recommendation of a doctor, to prevent the prisoner from doing harm to themselves.
The criteria for granting such requests will be preventing the prisoner from doing irreversible damage to their body, or endangering their life. If the court authorizes force-feeding, officials will be able to administer only the minimum amount of nutrition necessary to keep the prisoner alive. In addition, officials will be required to use “all means at their disposal” to persuade prisoners to willingly end their hunger strike.
If, despite that, force-feeding is to take place, the law requires that it be done in “as dignified a manner as possible,” and in private. If the prisoner actively refuses being fed, prison officials will be allowed to use “reasonable force” to make them eat.
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