The suicide of a Guantanamo inmate underscores the grim reality for detainees held there for nearly 11 years without charge or trial, with no end in sight to their imprisonment.
Three months after Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif was found dead in his cell, the US Army formally declared his death to be a suicide — the seventh at the prison.
US Southern Command, which oversees Guantanamo, said the US Navy’s criminal investigation unit has opened a probe into the death.
“Too many questions are open”, his attorney David Remes told AFP.
How, Remes would like to know, did the prisoner manage to die at the tightly-controlled facility of a self-administered drug overdose, as the autopsy report cites as the cause?
And how could an inmate suffering from acute pneumonia be languishing in a disciplinary cell without medical care?
“If it was suicide, it was assisted suicide”, the attorney quipped.
Remes said that his client “foresaw that the military was trying to kill him, but without their fingerprints.” france24.com
Other Guantanamo detainees have reported finding “scissors and sharp objects in their cells”, Remes said. AFP
Latif’s death was the seventh suicide at the prison, where the U.S. now holds 166 men. The deaths of two other prisoners were determined to be from natural causes. Salon
Latif, who was in his 30s, was held at Guantanamo for more than a decade. The U.S. government accused him of training with the Taliban to fight the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. He was never charged and was apparently among about 30 prisoners from Yemen who could not be sent back because their country is considered too unstable to prevent former prisoners from engaging in militant activities. Salon
Latif traveled from Yemen to Pakistan in August 2001, and later made his way into Afghanistan. He was captured while trying to flee after the war began, and was among the first detainees taken to Guantanamo after it opened in January 2002. NY Times
In 2010, a federal judge ordered the Obama administration to free Mr. Latif, saying that the evidence against him was too thin. But last year, an appeals court panel reversed that ruling. NY Times