Gitmo Detainees Claim Hunger Strike Abuses; Blocked from Meeting Lawyers, Defense Says

Pentagon dismisses ‘baseless’ claims as operation to manipulate media.


Wright says detainees have started scribbling "SOS" on the outside of their cells to attract media attention, so "the world would understand what's happening around Guantanamo Bay."

"This is supposed to be a preventative detention under the rules of war, not punitive detention," he says. "But the command's philosophy just upended it. They want to treat these men like criminals."

His requests to meet with the commander of the detention facility have been denied. Wright's defense team colleagues have also been denied access to meet with their client the week of April 22.

"In our request for meetings, we explained to JTF-GTMO our concern for our client's health," says defense attorney Cindy Panuco in an email to U.S. News. The defense team also had an April 29 deadline to file an appeal, which it needed to discuss with Obaidullah.

"That request was denied and the only justification given was 'Unfortunately, Guantanamo is unable to accommodate this request for the specified time frame,'" she says.

The defense team did not submit the requests 20 days in advance of the visit, per regulations, Panuco says.

"It appears that even under the current circumstances and with an impending litigation deadline, they will not approve our visit," she says.

The U.S. government has no plans to try Obaidullah in the "foreseeable future," says Wright, adding the defense team has evidence that would prove his innocence.

"So he's stuck in a situation of indefinite detention right now; a legal limbo," he says. "Afghanistan is not clamoring for his return, but also the U.S. government is not doing anything to work on his repatriation release, or his trial."

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