From Natalia Perez
(CNN) — The U.S. government on Wednesday refused to stop force-feeding prisoners at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, during Ramadan.
In court papers rejecting a petition by detainees, the United States said the feeding provides “essential nutrition and medical care” and does not interfere with the detainees’ religious fasting during Ramadan, the holy month that begins on the evening of July 8.
The U.S. Justice Department also denied claims that it was giving the drug Reglan to the detainees.
Shaker Aamer, Ahmed Belbacha, Nabil Hadjarab and Abu Wa’el Dhiab filed a lawsuit Sunday arguing that the feeding violates the Ramadan daily fast from dawn to sunset.
U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler had set a deadline of noon Wednesday for the government to respond.
CNN’s Josh Levs contributed to this report.
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