Judge Puts an End to Rampant Guantánamo Groin Searches

By
Photo: John Moore/2009 Getty Images

No one looks forward to a thorough search of their nether regions by law enforcement, but a judge has ruled that the military must stop touching the groins of Guantánamo Bay detainees when they leave their cells to speak with their attorneys, as the practice is “religiously and culturally abhorrent” to Muslims. The New York Times reports that the procedure, which was introduced in May after detainees responded to a military raid with improvised weapons, involves guards putting their hands between the detainees' genitals and thighs. The genital search would take place as many as four times when prisoners were taken to meet with their lawyers. The practice had led some detainees to stop consulting with their attorneys, and the judge found, "The motivation for the searches is not to enhance security but to deter counsel access." The warden has been instructed to go back to the old practice of shaking their underwear by the waistband to uncover any contraband.