(NEW YORK) — The force-feeding of three detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, can continue.
On Tuesday, federal Judge Rosemary Collyer refused to intervene in the case after attorneys for the three men argued that they have the right to protest indefinite confinement.
As it happens, Shaker Aamer, Nabil Hadjarab and Ahmed Belbacha are cleared to be released from Gitmo but the U.S. has been unable to find a country willing to take them.
The men are part of a hunger strike that began last February. Just about half of the 166 detainees are still participating in it.
Judge Collyer says her hands are tied in the matter because Congress has removed the treatment of Gitmo detainees from the authority of U.S. courts.
However, the judge said that if it were up to her, she would still not permit the detainees to keep starving themselves and that previous court decisions on the issue involving U.S. prisoners asserts the government’s duty to keep people from committing suicide.
Attorneys for the Aamer, Hadjarab and Belbacha maintain the detainees don’t have a death wish.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Samantha Beech, CNN
Joe Sterling and Darran Simon, CNN
Eliza Mackintosh, CNN