No less than 4 detainees held on the U.S. army jail at Guantánamo Bay have been contaminated with Covid-19, detainees’ authorized groups instructed The Intercept. It’s the first outbreak of Covid inside the maximum-security jail.
The outbreak occurred in Camp Six, a communal block constructed in 2006 that homes low-value detainees who’ve by no means been charged with any crime. Attorneys stated the detainees are actually dwelling beneath tightened restrictions.
“We’re frightened as a result of there isn’t a readability in regards to the circumstances wherein they’re dwelling.”
“We’re frightened as a result of there isn’t a readability in regards to the circumstances wherein they’re dwelling,” stated Mansoor Adayfi, a former detainee on the jail, talking in his capability as Guantánamo venture coordinator for the London-based advocacy group CAGE. “Are they being handled? How unhealthy is their an infection? Have they been taken to the hospital? 9 brothers died at Guantanamo — two, I can let you know, died of medical negligence.”
The Covid outbreak was confirmed by two sources who spoke to The Intercept — one among whom requested anonymity so as to shield folks held on the jail from retaliation — in addition to a social media submit from the sister of a detainee. In accordance with one supply, at the very least one detainee examined constructive greater than per week in the past. (The Division of Protection didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.)
“We have been saddened by the information that quite a few brothers in Guantánamo have been contaminated with the coronavirus,” the sister of one of many sick detainees wrote on Fb in Arabic.
Adayfi, the previous detainee and creator of the memoir “Don’t Forget Us Here,” described the camp the place the outbreak occurred: “Camp Six doesn’t have any home windows, apart from small slits of sunshine close to the excessive ceilings. You are feeling such as you’re in a deep pit. It’s a constructing inside a constructing.”
Constructed by a Halliburton subsidiary and initially used for solitary confinement, Camp Six is now used for communal dwelling. Adayfi stated as soon as the communal areas are closed, the cells change into remoted from one another and communication is simply attainable by shouting. “It seems like solitary confinement,” he stated. “Camp Six is de facto horrible. Horrible.”
“I’m involved not solely due to the Covid, however basically,” stated Beth Jacob, an lawyer working with Guantánamo detainees, of the overall well being of her 5 shoppers within the jail. Two of the boys she represents have fallen unwell with Covid, she stated.
Jacob stated the historical past of brutality confronted by Guantánamo detainees might contribute to poor well being outcomes. “Their well being is unhealthy due to the circumstances beneath which they’ve been held,” she stated. “My guys each have been held by the CIA, one for a yr, one for 2 years. That was not light. It was a very long time in the past, but it surely’s nonetheless lasting bodily harm.”
In 2002, within the wake of the 9/11 assaults, the jail camp on the U.S. base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, was opened to carry suspected militants of the “warfare on terror.” Since then, almost 800 males and boys have handed by means of the jail. It grew to become infamous for torture and its extrajudicial detention and remedy of prisoners.
Lately, the variety of detainees dwindled as males — the overwhelming majority of whom by no means confronted expenses — have been repatriated, launched to 3rd international locations, or died in detention. At present, 37 males remained imprisoned on the camp, 25 of whom are thought-about low-risk detainees, and 10 of whom are in lively army fee instances.
Whereas all of the detainees at Guantánamo have been vaccinated towards the coronavirus, what number of doses they’ve now obtained is unknown.