Latest Guantanamo Death Another Sign of Policy Failure
Human Rights First expressed deep concern about the apparent suicide of a Saudi Arabian detainee at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
“This latest death was a preventable tragedy,” said Hina Shamsi, deputy director of Human Rights First’s Law & Security Program. “The administration has had every indication over more than five years that the prolonged and arbitrary detention of prisoners is a moral, diplomatic, legal and policy failure.”
This death comes after three other suicides in June 2006 and after reports from Guantanamo officials of at least 41 suicide attempts by 25 detainees. “It could not be more clear that existing policies deprive detainees of their humanity and have lead to desperation,” added Shamsi. “If the administration is not willing to act to address this crisis, Congress must do so. The first step is to restore to the courts’ jurisdiction to review habeas corpus petitions to ensure that detainees are being held lawfully. Second, Congress must ensure that any further detention and trial of detainees in U.S. custody meets fundamental due process and human rights norms.”