WASHINGTON — A federal judge Friday ordered the public release of 28 videotapes of a hunger-striking Guantanamo Bay prisoner being forcibly removed from his cell and force-fed.

Lawyers for the prisoner, Abu Wa’el Dhiab, have challenged his treatment as abusive.

Numerous news media outlets had asked the court on June 20 to unseal the videotapes, which are classified “secret.”

U.S. District Court Judge Gladys Kessler granted the news media’s request, although she said the tapes will remain sealed until some information on them is redacted. The material to be removed includes identifying information of everyone on the tapes except for the prisoner. She said faces other than Dhiab’s will be obscured, as will voices and names.

“Protection of the identities of Guantanamo Bay staff is a legitimate goal,” Kessler wrote. “Adequate protection can be provided by appropriate audio and visual edits, for example, blurring faces and identifying portions of uniforms, and blacking-out written materials on walls.” The government could appeal her ruling.

Dhiab’s lawyer, Jon Eisenberg, said that “we are very gratified by this decision, which will enable the American people to see with their own eyes the sorts of abuses that are being heaped on these peacefully hunger-striking detainees.”

“Once the truth is fully brought to light, we believe these terrible practices will come to an end,” Eisenberg said.

Dhiab was told in the spring he would be resettled in Uruguay, along with five other Guantanamo prisoners. But after the transfer was put on hold, his standoff with military officials deteriorated.

Dhiab, a Syrian prisoner, has been held at the Navy-run prison for terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, since August 2002.