Female soldiers serving at Guantanamo Bay are not being allowed to transport inmates following a court order issued in response to prisoners who complained on religious grounds, according to US Republican senators who recently returned from a visit to the prison camp.
Inmates apparently complained that female soldiers' actions were an insult to their Islamic faith, but the senators blasted the court's decision as an "insult to women."
Top U.S. military leaders agreed the directive is "outrageous," while suggesting they're currently bound by the order.
US Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., first revealed the decision on Tuesday morning. She told Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford that on a visit Friday to the detention center, she was told female soldiers were not being allowed to transport the “9/11 five” – five inmates suspected of masterminding the 2001 terror attack -- after the court order.
A military judge issued the order in January prohibiting female guards from transporting the defendants, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, to and from legal proceedings after they refused to meet with defense lawyers and complained that any physical contact with unrelated women violated their Muslim beliefs.