Sunday, December 22, 2013

Strip Search vs Cavity Search

After her ordeal as a detainee, Indian deputy consul Devyani Khobragade complained in her email that she had broken down multiple times after being forced to undergo strip search and cavity search. The US Marshals Service which handled her subsequently responded to media inquiries by stating that they did not conduct a 'cavity search' on Khobragade but only a 'strip search'.

But it's necessary to understand here that when USMS refers to 'cavity search', they mean an exam where the officer puts their own fingers and hands into the detainee's bodily orifices. They did however acknowledge that their definition of 'strip search' includes visual inspection of detainee's cavities - which requires the detainee to do certain deeds to themselves in lieu of the officer doing it.

I just wanted to show you all a video produced by the American Civil Liberties Union which depicts this very Strip Search procedure performed in US prisons, and why they find it so objectionable.

Warning: the following video contains nudity.

So really - should a lady Indian diplomat have been forced to undergo this over a falsified form? I don't see how two wrongs add up to a right in this case. But if the Americans can't avoid doing it on our diplomatic personnel, then I see no other option but to do it on theirs when found in breach of our laws. The principle of reciprocity must apply in diplomatic relations.

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