TribLIVE

| USWorld

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Federal judges reinstate Guantanamo groin searches

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Miami Herald
Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 9:24 p.m.
 

A federal appeals court is allowing Guantanamo guards to resume searching detainees' genitals on their way to and from legal meetings while the Obama administration challenges a federal judge's ruling that the searches unfairly impede attorney-client meetings.

The order on Wednesday by a three-judge panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit capped 24 hours of legal wrangling: The Justice Department asked a New York lawyer to let guards search her client's privates, the lawyer refused and the Southern Command's top general joined the fray with a sworn declaration that a federal judge got it wrong.

Groin searches aren't intended to prevent legal meetings, said Southcom's Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly, noting that his Guantanamo soldiers similarly search captives meeting with Red Cross delegates.

Past practice of shaking a captive's trousers to see if “nails, shanks, ragged scraps of metal” fall out “posed an unacceptable risk to the safety and security of detainees and guards,” Kelly said.

Last week, detainee lawyers convinced U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth that the invasive searches, adopted amid a widespread hunger strike, were discouraging some of Guantanamo's 166 captives from voluntarily leaving their cells for meetings with their lawyers. Lamberth ordered the guards to stop it, and resume the practice of physically shaking the waistband of the pants of a prisoner to see whether any contraband comes out.

The latest legal move occurs as the prison camps reported that it had 46 hunger-striking captives designated for forced-feedings on Wednesday.

Army Lt. Col. Samuel House said the prison counted a total of 78 prisoners as hunger strikers, down from a record 106 on the eve of Ramadan.

Navy medical staff listed 46 as having health conditions sufficiently at risk to require twice-daily trips to a restraint chair and nasogastric feedings if they refused to voluntarily drink nutritional supplements. Three hunger strikers were at the prison camps hospital, House said, none with “any life-threatening conditions.”

Pro-bono defense lawyers who last week won the court order preventing the practice reacted with fury.

“Doesn't the government have more important things to do than defend its right to grope detainees?” said attorney David Remes in Washington.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Comets hold life building blocks
  2. Al-Qaida group in Syria targeted by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes
  3. Senate to grill United Nations agency chief Amano on Iran nuclear pact
  4. Experimental Ebola vaccine could stop virus in West Africa
  5. Israelis remember how summer conflict affected beach ritual
  6. NATO proclaims ‘strong solidarity’ with Turkey against IS
  7. Debris on French island possibly that of missing Malaysia Airlines flight
  8. Exiled Yemen leader orders anti-rebel fighters to merge with army to battle Houthis
  9. Extremist strikes again in attack on gay parade in Jerusalem
  10. India hangs man who raised funds in support of 1993’s deadly Mumbai bombings
  11. China says U.S. trying to militarize South China Sea