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Guantanamo suicide attempt due to treatment

Issue No. 2007

Prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay attempted to commit suicide in 2003. The attempt was in protest at their treatment by guards and the fear that they will never be released, according to recently declassified military documents.

The revelations come after a US official dismissed the recent suicide of three inmates as a “public relations stunt”.

The documents, made public on 17 June, are the latest batch to be released after a campaign by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The human rights organisation has forced the US government to declassify over 100,000 pages of secret documents covering Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.

The documents include a medical report dated 29 April 2003 that details how a prisoner attempted to hang himself with a towel.

The detainee, who is not named, fell into a “vegetative state” after the suicide attempt.

Medical staff at the detention centre reported that the man was severely depressed and had no hope he would ever be released.

They recommended that he be sent home, but the military dismissed the request.

Another document recently released by the FBI, which covered the same period, warned that between 40 to 50 inmates were planning to kill themselves.

It says they were “tired of being detained with no prospect of being released and they were tired of being mistreated by guards”.

The documents show that the US government’s claim that detainees at Guantanamo Bay were well treated is a lie.

“These documents are the latest evidence of the desperate and immoral conditions that exist at Guantanamo Bay,” said Anthony Romero, the director of ACLU.

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Sat 1 Jul 2006, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 2007
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