Gitmo Mulls Visits from Family Members for Inmates

Thursday, 12 May 2011 10:31 AM

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Talks are underway to allow detainees at the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba to have visits from family members. The goal would be to ease the isolation of the inmates who have been held for years, congressional aides tell The Washington Post.

gitmo, family, visitsThe International Committee of the Red Cross has been conducting discussions with the Pentagon to allow the visits. The ICRC already handles video conferences between detainees and their families, the Post reported.
Neither the ICRC nor the Pentagon would discuss the matter.

Such visits would likely exclude those held at the top-security Camp 7, which includes 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed. Prisoners at that facility cannot communicate by phone or teleconference and family contact is limited to letters, the Post reported.

Currently, Guantanamo holds 172 detainees, 48 of whom are expected to be held indefinitely. Most live in barracks. Face-to-face visits are allowed at other U.S. detention facilities, such as Bagram air base in Afghanistan. Both the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama have worked with the ICRC to expand detainee family communications, the Post reported.

Letters, reviewed and censored by the military, were first allowed in 2002, phone calls in 2008 and video conferencing in 2009, all monitored by the military, the Post reported.



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