Activists demand the closing of the US military’s detention facility in Guantanamo during a protest, part of the Nationwide for Guantanamo Day of Action, April 11, 2013 in New York’s Times Square.
As the hunger strike by captives at US militaryâ„¢s Guantanamo prison enters its 4th month, one of the inmatesâ„¢ attorneys has revealed deliberate abuse and torture tactics adopted against the detainees to discourage them from contacting their lawyers.
Clive Stafford Smith, attorney for several Guantanamo captives and founder of legal group Reprieve elaborated Thursday on some of the abusive tactics uses against inmates at the notorious detention and torture camp, including humiliating invasive body searches, which he describes as Å“sexual assault,” that they have to undergo merely to make telephone contact with their attorneys.
Å“When my clients are coming to have a telephone call with me they canâ„¢t smuggle anything on a telephone line,” said Smith in an interview with RT. Å“And so the idea that they threaten the prisoners with full body search, and I wonâ„¢t go into the really graphic part, but itâ„¢s basically a sexual assault, is just a threat to try to get them not to talk to us.”
He then emphasized that such abusive and inhumane tactics are part of an effort by the US military to prevent release of any negative information about the infamous prison.
Å“Frankly,” he added, Å“the reason for this is fairly obvious; that thereâ„¢s been an awful lot of information coming out of Guantanamo Bay that doesnâ„¢t suit the [American] authorities.
Smith further revealed that military authorities at Guantanamo have actually adopted their abusive measures against Muslim prisoners at the prison camp after conducting a study on what Muslim men are particularly sensitive to.
Å“Whatâ„¢s sad about it is of course people at Guantanamo have studied what Muslim men are particularly sensitive to, and so one thing that obviously a conservative traditional Muslim male is not used to is having a stranger basically assault them sexually,” he said.
Å“These things have been studied rather carefully,” he added, Å“so itâ„¢s a great tragedy that the US has used studies on how to be sensitive to Muslims and turned these around to use them to humiliate them.”
Noting that the threat of the so-called Å“anal cavity search” has only been adopted by US military authorities since 10 to 12 days ago, Smith underlined its immediate impact on the captives, discouraging them from making even phone contacts with their attorneys.
Å“Last Friday two of my clients refused to have a call with me for the simple reason that they didnâ„¢t want to go through that process” he said, adding that Å“twice prisoners didnâ„¢t want to come out for a visit” with another lawyer from his organization, Reprieve, who was at the base last week Å“because of what theyâ„¢ve been threatened with.”
Å“This is just not civilized. I speak as an American when I say we should not be doing this sort of thing,” he then emphasized.
Smith went on to reiterate that the new force-feeding procedures used on hunger strikers at Guantanamo has been dictated by US militaryâ„¢s Southern Command with the intent to Å“make it more painful for prisoners” to continue with their protest effort.
Å“Iâ„¢m actually glad that a standard operating procedure for Guantanamo Bay was leaked this Monday… and it corroborates everything my clients have been telling me about how the force-feeding is being done. And you know whatâ„¢s really worrying about this is General Bantz Craddock of SOUTHCOM said they were doing it to make it Å“inconvenient” for the prisoners to keep on hunger striking,” he said.
Noting that in earlier days Guantanamo staff used a smaller, 120-cm-long tube up a captiveâ„¢s nose, he added, Å“Now what they are doing is they are using larger tubes and they are sticking those up oneâ„¢s nose twice a day and pulling them out again.”
On possible ways to bring an end to the ongoing hunger strike at the US military prison, Smith emphasized that Å“we have to give justice to these prisoners.”
Å“We are talking about 96 of the 166 prisoners, who have been cleared for release, and thatâ„¢s 52 percent of them, including most of the people I represent. Thereâ„¢s only one way to end this strike fairly, and thatâ„¢s to take prisoners whoâ„¢ve been cleared for release and set them free… Thatâ„¢s the only way to solve this problem.”
Most of the Guantanamo inmates have been picked up by American military forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the aftermath of the US-led occupation of Afghanistan under the pretext of removing the Saudi- and Pakistani-backed Taliban regime and bringing stability to the country.
This article originally appeared on : Press TV