JULY 22, 2013
On October 24, 2012, Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Department of Defense seeking records related to sanitary conditions at Camp Justice in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Specifically, JW’s request asked for the following records:
1) All communications (including emails, memoranda, or any other form of correspondence) respecting health safety or sanitation at Camp Justice;
2) All reports, assessments, evaluations, lab results, or any other documentation of health safety or sanitation planning or testing at Camp Justice;
3) All contracts, invoices, expense vouchers, or any other documentation of financial transactions in relation to or in support of health safety or sanitation at Camp Justice;
4) All commendations, comments, or complaints – medical or otherwise, from any source – respecting health safety or sanitation at Camp Justice; and,
5) All Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), policy statements, guidelines, directives, initiatives, or other standards or protocols regarding health safety or sanitation at Camp Justice.
On June 20, 2013, US Southern Command produced 30 pages of documents in response to JW’s request. The 30 pages consist of inspection reports within the given timeframe and the standard operating procedures for inspecting facilities on the camp. Several issues stand out within the inspection reports:
- During one rodent inspection on September 25, 2012, the inspectors discovered a decaying rat in a trap in the ceiling of one room. The report indicated the rat was “well decayed” and suggests that no one is maintaining the pest control efforts. The report suggests that the pest management contract be “reviewed to ensure it is being enforced.” (This report is attached under the name “Gitmo Rodent Inspection Report”)
- During three separate inspections in November and December 2012 inspectors reported consistent issues with the sanitary conditions of a walk-in refrigerator. Additionally, the same problem of a missing thermometer was reported each time and not remedied. (These reports are attached under the name “Gitmo Freezer Inspection Reports”)
- Two inspection reports from May and June 2012 indicate that chlorine levels in the water in the female showers was below the acceptable range. The report states that inspectors will continue to monitor the chlorine levels, but there are no further reports of low chlorine levels (These inspection reports are attached under the name “Gitmo Water Test Report”). These showers—designated for visitors to the camp, including media and NGO members—are housed in an outdoor tent, making sanitary conditions even more critical. (A more detailed description of the visitor tents from the US Navy is attached under the name “Visitor Tent Description”)
Sign Up for Updates!