In the court challenge filed Friday in Washington on behalf of a Pakistani detainee, attorney Gaillard T. Hunt said Muslim chaplains would help reduce suicide attempts among detainees, a problem that has fueled calls in the U.S. and abroad to close the camp.
An official with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, as well as two Muslim chaplains who work in the federal prison system, filed declarations in support of the motion. They, along with a third chaplain, said they were willing to counsel prisoners at Guantanamo.
“Counseling is what disarms them from the very hostile environment they are in. It’s very useful in calming tensions,” Shakeel Syed, one of the chaplains, said in an interview.
The motion was filed on behalf of Saifullah Paracha, 59, who is accused of being an Al Qaeda financier and taking part in a plan to smuggle weapons into the United States. Hunt said Paracha has never been charged with a crime and is “pro-American and anti-terrorist.”