Court Backs Groin Searches at Guantanamo Bay

Federal judge had rejected procedure last year

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 2, 2014 2:02 PM CDT

(Newser) – Federal appeals court judges have unanimously approved an invasive frisking policy challenged by detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Searches of detainees' groins and anal areas before and after they visit their lawyers are acceptable as "reasonable security policies," judges said, per Reuters. The decision follows the institution of the policy in May of last year, which a federal judge had previously rejected. That judge found that the policy was meant to "actively discourage" detainee meetings with their lawyers; indeed, some detainees have stopped seeing their lawyers because of the new procedure, the New York Times reports.

But "the tenuous evidence of an improper motive to obstruct access to counsel in this case cannot overcome the legitimate, rational connection between the security needs of Guantanamo Bay and thorough searches of detainees," Judge Thomas Griffith wrote in the decision yesterday. Previous search procedures were less invasive, Reuters notes. A lawyer for the detainees called the ruling "a really disturbing and quite frankly a disgusting decision."

In this Dec. 7, 2006 file photo reviewed by the US Military, a US soldier keeps watch from a guard tower overlooking Camp Delta detention center at Guantanamo Bay.
In this Dec. 7, 2006 file photo reviewed by the US Military, a US soldier keeps watch from a guard tower overlooking Camp Delta detention center at Guantanamo Bay.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)
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