The hunger strike at the notorious US Guantanamo prison has entered its 99th day, with the authorities beginning to implement humiliating measures against the prisoners.
Clive Stafford Smith, a leading lawyer representing various detainees in Guantanamo prison, said in a letter to British Foreign Secretary William Hague that hunger strikers should go through body cavity searches before they could contact their lawyers even with a phone call. “The US military has started directly abusing prisoners who want to contact their lawyers to tell them what is happening,” Smith said, adding that the searches involve the private body parts of the detainees. He also said that two of his clients and at least another inmate were dissuaded to contact their lawyers in order not to go through the body searches. The US military has reportedly denied that authorities at Guantanamo carry out the humiliating searches.
Earlier, David Remes, also a lawyer for Guantanamo prisoners, had previously said the prison officials had threatened the inmates with humiliating body searches to dissuade them from meeting their lawyers. “Under the new search policy, a detainee who leaves his camp is subject to a search including his private parts and …,” Remes also said. Remes added that two of his Yemeni clients on hunger strike, identified as Abd al-Malik Abd al-Wahab and Salman Rabeii, had talked about the new policy. The lawyer was at the US naval prison from April 29 to May 3. Over two thirds of the 166 prisoners still held at the notorious US jail are on a hunger strike, which began on February 6 against prison condition and the detainees’ indefinite confinement.