Attorneys defending more than a dozen Guantanamo prisoners have asked a federal court judge to immediately suspend a new policy enacted at the detention facility over the past month that requires the prisoners to submit to a genital search when they exit the camps to speak with their lawyers and return to their cells.
In an emergency motion filed late Wednesday in US District Court for the District of Columbia, attorneys for Yemeni Saeed Mohammed Saleh Hatim and 12 other prisoners argued the intent of the new policy was to deny their clients access to counsel and was implemented in retaliation for a mass hunger strike the prisoners have waged since February.
The filing also includes declarations from attorneys alleging prisoners have been subjected to psychological abuse in the form of solitary confinement, stress positions, sleep deprivation and temperature manipulation.
"Things are very hard in the extreme," Yemeni prisoner Bisheer al Marwalah told his attorney, Erin Thomas, according to a declaration she filed. "We no longer have any respect in this prison. They don't respect our life, our dignity, they don't respect our religious feelings ... As for tomorrow, we have no idea what it will bring."
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