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Lawyers for Guantanamo detainee ask US court to compel release from isolation

[JURIST] Lawyers for Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee Shaker Aamer [Reprieve profile; BBC report], a UK resident held by the US since 2002, filed a motion [PDF text] in federal district court Monday seeking Aamer's release from solitary confinement, arguing that Aamer's almost year-long isolation violates the Geneva Conventions [ICRC materials], which require that prisoners be treated humanely. According to the court filing, Aamer has been held in solitary confinement in a 6-by-8 foot cell for 360 days, has been beaten by military guards, has been exposed to extreme hot and cold temperatures, and has become mentally unbalanced.

Aamer's lawyers said that, apart from infrequent meetings with his legal team, the detainee's only contact was with the US guards running Guantanamo. A spokesman for Guantanamo insisted Monday that detainee treatment meets Geneva Convention requirements and said that detainees are not put in situations "where they do not have available human contact 24 hours a day." Also filed with the motion were declarations from his lawyers, Clive Smith [PDF text] and Zachary Katznelson [PDF text]. Families of other long-time UK residents held at Guantanamo Bay are seeking an order [JURIST report] requiring the British government to lobby the US for the release of their relatives. AP has more.

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