Gitmo detainee lawyers claim US policy violates attorney-client privilege

Lawyers defending detainees at Guantánamo Bay said Nov. 1 that procedures and practices employed by the US government make it impossible for them to do their jobs. In a letter (PDF) directed to the attention of the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs, the attorneys allege that Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) staff seize, open, interpret, read and review attorney-client privileged communications—actions which the attorneys argue are unlawful. As a result of this practice by the JTF-GTMO, the attorneys find themselves in “an untenable position of having either to violate professional ethical standards in order to communicate with our clients, or cease communicating with our clients,” and accordingly request that the practice be stopped immediately. Additionally, the attorneys, who represent six “high value detainees,” address the refusal up to this point of the government to respond to their complaints or requests in spite of sending “multiple communications.”

From Jurist, Nov. 2. Used with permission.

See our last post on the detainment scandals.