The Arizona Republic has intervened to unseal records in a class-action suit alleging inadequate and inhuman conditions in the Border Patrol’s migrant detention facilities in southern Arizona. The Republic’s attorney, David Bodney, said the government’s action has allowed basic court records to be hidden from public view for months in a case of acute public interest.

The class-action status of lawsuit filed by several civil- and immigration-rights groups on behalf of two unnamed women who were detained and Norlan Flores, who has twice been detained, was approved in mid-January by U.S. District Court Judge David Bury. The federal government filed a motion to seal the injunction and all the exhibits, which include pictures and videos, arguing that the “release of the photographs and videos would violate the privacy rights of depicted detainees,” and could impact privacy rights of Border Patrol agents.

The motion filed by The Arizona Republic said that “the public has an undeniable interest in monitoring a civil case concerning the allegedly inhumane conditions experience by civil  border detainees lodged in government facilities," and that the government “ provides no compelling reason why they should be allowed to continue to litigate this action in secret, immune from public scrutiny.”