Sunday, March 29, 2020

Gitmo during Covid- 19

For the 40 men remaining at Gitmo the risk of infection is as high as any other prison in these here "united" states. In other words, the risk is very high. This is also an at-risk population as many of the men are older now (senior category) and many have had their immune systems compromised after more than 18 years of captivity. We have heard that there has been exposure to the virus at the base, although typical of the secrecy that has surrounded this base all of the years it has been open, we do not know the specifics. New rules have been implemented and if we wanted to go and visit our clients we would have to plan a trip of more than 14 days as we would be quarantined the first 14 days. That leads to many questions, for example, how would we get food while quarantined? Anyway, I don't think many of us are thinking of heading that way right now. The trip is also made difficult by the lack of flights going down there and the inability of habeas counsel to utilize some of those flights.
Other measures are in place if one of us decides to make the trip but most of those make sense in the time of this virus -- having your temperature taken, staying 6 feet away, no sharing of food, etc.

Ramadan starts in late April and that will add new challenges as many of the men will be fasting during the day. One of the habeas counsel has, for the last few years, taken on the task of gathering items for the men for the feast at the end of Ramadan. Many of us contribute to her effort but clearly the big job is collecting everything and getting it down to the base. Hats off to Beth for coordinating that effort.