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Issue #1448      24 March 2010

Families of Guantanamo detainees want the truth about “suicides”

The families of men who died in 2006 in the prison located on the illegal Guantanamo Bay Naval Base – whose deaths the US army presented as suicides – have petitioned the courts to reconsider their lawsuit, given new testimony by army officers who were on the base when those events occurred.

In an appeal presented to the federal court in Washington the relatives of the deceased state that they have discovered “extraordinary and disturbing facts” in relation to the deaths of their sons Yasser al-Zahrani (Saudi Arabian, aged 22) and Salah al-Salami (Yemeni, aged 33).

Their appeal is based on the statements of four military officers. One, Joe Hickman, a high-ranking officer, was on duty at a watch tower with a view of the cells where the two men were held overnight from June 9-10, 2006.

Hickman said that he witnessed three men being transferred from their cells to another area of the camp and then, when the van transporting them returned, saw something being deposited at the infirmary.

Three minutes later, when the camp was in full turmoil, Joe Hickman asked one of the nurses for details of what was going on. According to Hickman, the nurse responded that three dead prisoners had been delivered to the clinic; that they had died of asphyxia because they had rags stuffed down their throats. One of the prisoners was also severely bruised.

Granma  

Next article – Europe and trade for torture

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