June 10th Suicides at Guantanamo: Government Words and Deeds Compared
24 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2006
Date Written: August 21, 2006
Detainees Died While Critical Information Was Withheld
On June 10, 2006, The Government reported that three detainees - Mani Shaman Turki Al-Habardi Al-Utaybi, Yassar Talal Al-Zahrani, and Ali Abdullah Ahmed - had committed suicide at the naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The Government reported that none of the three detainees was represented by counsel at the time that they died. The Government's claim that none of the deceased was represented by counsel is inconsistent with the Federal District Court records. The Federal District Court records reveal these attorneys' repeated attempts to communicate with their clients. The attempted communication was thwarted by the Government.
The detainees died without information that might have given them hope. One died not knowing that he was to be released to his homeland, Saudi Arabia; a second detainee died without seeing a videotape from his father asking him to cooperate with his American legal counsel.
The only available evidence of the basis upon which the three individuals were being detained is the contents of the Government's press releases - the same press releases that incorrectly characterized the absence of the detainees' representation by counsel.
One detainee was held on suspicion of being a "mid to high level al Qaeda operative." A second detainee was held on suspicion of having fought with the Taliban against the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. The third detainee was held primarily because of his association with Jama'at al Tablighi. Many Muslims are associated with Jama'at al Tablighi. Jama'at al Tablighi is not listed as a terrorist organization in State Department or Treasury Department lists.
Co-Authors Mark Denbeaux and Joshua Denbeaux represent two Guantanamo detainees.
Keywords: Detainee, Hamdi, Guantanamo, Rasul, evidence, press releases, detainee representation, CRST, habeas, classified, hearings, enemy combatants, CRST, FOIA,, suicide victim, Combatant Status Review Tribunal, habeas corpus, investigation, administrative review board, detainee defense, military detainee,
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