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Posted by kaori 02/27/2009 @ 01:38

Tags : guantanamo, terrorism and security, issues, politics

Guantanamo Bay detention camp

A Camp Delta recreation and exercise area in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The detention block is shown with sunshades drawn on December 3, 2002

The Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp is a prison operated by Joint Task Force Guantánamo of the United States government since 1987 in Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, which is on the shore of Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

The detainment areas consists of three camps in the base: Camp Delta (which includes Camp Echo), Camp Iguana, and Camp X-Ray (which has been closed). The facility is often referred to as the Guantánamo, or Gitmo. The detainees currently held as of June 2008 have been classified by the United States as "enemy combatants". After the administration of President George W. Bush asserted that detainees were not entitled to any of the protections of the Geneva Conventions, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld on June 29, 2006 that they were entitled to the minimal protections listed under Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. Following this, on July 7, 2006, the Department of Defense issued an internal memo stating that prisoners would in the future be entitled to protection under Common Article 3.

On January 21, 2009 the White House announced that President Barack Obama had signed an order to suspend the proceedings of the Guantanamo military commission for 120 days and that the detention facility would be shut down within the year. On January 29, 2009 a military judge at Guantanamo rejected the White House request in the case of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, creating an unexpected challenge for the administration as it reviews how America puts Guantanamo detainees on trial.

From the 1970s onwards, the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base was used to house Cuban and Haitian refugees intercepted on the high seas. In the 1990s, it held refugees who fled Haiti in Camp Bulkeley until United States District Court Judge Sterling Johnson Jr. declared the camp unconstitutional on June 8, 1993, and the last Haitian migrants departed in late 1995. In June 2005, the United States Department of Defense announced that a unit of defense contractor Halliburton would build a new $1 billion USD detention facility and security perimeter around the base.

Since October 7, 2001, when the current war in Afghanistan began, 775 detainees have been brought to Guantánamo. Of these, approximately 420 have been released without charge. As of May 2008, approximately 270 detainees remain. More than a fifth are cleared for release but must nevertheless remain indefinitely because countries are reluctant to accept them.

Of those still incarcerated, U.S. officials said they intend to eventually put 60 to 80 on trial and free the rest.

On September 22, 2004, ten prisoners were brought from Afghanistan.

In July 2005, 242 detainees were moved out of Guantánamo, including 173 that were released without charge, and 69 transferred to the governments of other countries, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

By November 2005, 358 of the then-505 detainees held at Guantánamo Bay had had Administrative Review Board hearings. Of these, 3% were granted and were awaiting release, 20% were to be transferred, 37% were to be further detained at Guantánamo, and no decision had been made in 40% of the cases.

The Center for Constitutional Rights has prepared a biography of some of the prisoners currently being held in Guantánamo Prison.

On September 6, 2006, American President George W. Bush confirmed, for the first time, that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had held "high-value detainees" in secret interrogation centers.

On February 11, 2008, the US Department of Defense charged Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi Binalshibh, Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi, Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali and Walid Bin Attash for the September 11 attacks under the military commission system, as established under the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

On February 5, 2009, charges against Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri were dropped without prejudice following an order signed by Obama to suspend trials for 120 days. Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri was accused of renting a small boat before the USS Cole bombing. He is one of the detainees held at Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp known to have been interrogated with water boarding.

Camp Delta is a 612-unit detention center finished in April 2002. It includes detention camps 1 through 6 as well as Camp Echo, where pre-commissions are held. Security is provided by United States Army Military Police, United States Department of Homeland Security, and Navy Master-at-Arms.

Camp Iguana is a smaller, low-security compound, located about a kilometer from the main compound. In 2002 and 2003, it housed three detainees who were under 16 and was closed when they were flown home in January 2004. It was reopened in mid-2005 to house some of the 38 detainees who were determined by the Combatant Status Review Tribunals as no longer being "enemy combatants".

Camp X-Ray was a temporary detention facility that was closed in April 2002. Its prisoners were transferred to Camp Delta.

An Associated Press report indicates that a seventh camp, named Camp 7, is also a separate facility on the naval base. It is considered the highest-security jail on the base, and its location is classified.

A manual called "Camp Delta Standard Operating Procedure" (SOP), dated February 28, 2003 and designated "Unclassified//For Official Use Only", was published on Wikileaks. This is the main document for the operation of Guantánamo Bay, including the securing and treatment of detainees. The 238-page document includes procedures for identity cards and Muslim burial. It is signed by Major General Geoffrey D. Miller. The document is the subject of an ongoing legal action by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which has been trying to obtain it from the Department of Defense.

On July 2, 2008, the International Herald Tribune revealed in an article that the U.S. military trainers who came to Guantánamo Bay in December 2002 had based an entire interrogation class on a chart copied directly from a 1957 Air Force study of Chinese Communist torture techniques used during the Korean War to obtain confessions, many of them false. The chart showed the effects of "coercive management techniques" for possible use on prisoners, including "sleep deprivation," "prolonged constraint," and "exposure." The 1957 article from which the chart was copied, written by Alfred D. Biderman, a sociologist then working for the Air Force, was entitled "Communist Attempts to Elicit False Confessions From Air Force Prisoners of War". Other techniques used by the Chinese Communists that were listed on the chart include "Semi-Starvation," "Exploitation of Wounds," and "Filthy, Infested Surroundings," along with their effects: "Makes Victim Dependent on Interrogator," "Weakens Mental and Physical Ability to Resist," and "Reduces Prisoner to 'Animal Level' Concerns." The only change made to the chart used at Guantánamo was an altered title.

Supporters of controversial techniques have declared that certain protections of the Third Geneva Convention do not apply to al-Qaeda or Taliban fighters, claiming that Article IV of the Geneva convention only applies to uniformed soldiers and guerrillas who wear distinctive insignia, bear arms openly, and abide by the rules of war. Jim Phillips of the Heritage Foundation has said that "some of these terrorists who are not recognized as soldiers don't deserve to be treated as soldiers." Critics of U.S. policy say the government has violated the Conventions in attempting to create a distinction between "prisoners of war" and "illegal combatants." Amnesty International has called the situation "a human rights scandal" in a series of reports.

Red Cross inspectors and released detainees have alleged acts of torture, including sleep deprivation, beatings and locking in confined and cold cells. Human rights groups argue that indefinite detention constitutes torture.

The use of Guantánamo Bay as a military prison has drawn criticism from human rights organizations and others, who cite reports that detainees have been tortured or otherwise poorly treated. Supporters of the detention argue that trial review of detentions has never been afforded to prisoners of war, and that it is reasonable for enemy combatants to be detained until the cessation of hostilities.

Three British Muslim prisoners, now known in the media as the "Tipton Three", were released in 2004 without charge. The three have alleged ongoing torture, sexual degradation, forced drugging and religious persecution being committed by U.S. forces at Guantánamo Bay. Former Guantánamo detainee Mehdi Ghezali was freed without charge on July 9, 2004, after two and one-half years internment. Ghezali has claimed that he was the victim of repeated torture. Omar Deghayes alleges he was blinded by pepper spray during his detention. Juma Al Dossary claims he was interrogated hundreds of times, beaten, tortured with broken glass, barbed wire, burning cigarettes, and sexual assaults. David Hicks also made allegations of torture and mistreatment in Guantánamo Bay, but as part of his plea bargain Hicks withdrew the allegations.

An Associated Press report claims that some detainees were turned over to the U.S. by Afghan tribesmen in return for cash bounties The first Denbeaux study reproduces copies of several of leaflets, flyers and posters the U.S. Government distributed to advertise the bounty program; some of which offered bounties of "millions of dollars". Some of the posters were in comic form to reach the majority of the Afghan population, many of whom are illiterate.

Forced feeding accusations by hunger-striking detainees began in the fall of 2005: "Detainees said large feeding tubes were forcibly shoved up their noses and down into their stomachs, with guards using the same tubes from one patient to another. The detainees say no sedatives were provided during these procedures, which they allege took place in front of U.S. physicians, including the head of the prison hospital." "A hunger striking detainee at Guantánamo Bay wants a judge to order the removal of his feeding tube so he can be allowed to die, one of his lawyers has said." Within a few weeks, the Department of Defense "extended an invitation to United Nations Special Rapporteurs to visit detention facilities at Guantánamo Bay Naval Station". This was rejected by the U.N. considering the restrictions "that three human rights officials invited to Guantánamo Bay wouldn't be allowed to conduct private interviews" with prisoners. Simultaneously, media reports ensued surrounding the question of prisoner treatment. "District Court Judge Gladys Kessler also ordered the U.S. government to give medical records going back a week before such feedings take place." In early November 2005, the U.S. suddenly accelerated, for unknown reasons, the rate of prisoner release, but this was unsustained. Prisoners were force fed with nasal tubes.

In 2005, it was reported that sexual methods were allegedly used by female interrogators to break Muslim prisoners.

By 2008 there had been at least four suicides and hundreds of suicide attempts in Guantánamo that are in public knowledge. No information is available on the number of suicides of prisoners that are classified secret, or their suicide attempts. On June 10, 2006, three detainees were found dead, who, according to the Pentagon, "killed themselves in an apparent suicide act". Prison commander Rear Admiral Harry Harris claimed this was not an act of desperation, despite prisoners' pleas to the contrary, but rather "an act of asymmetric warfare committed against us".

Amnesty International said the apparent suicides "are the tragic results of years of arbitrary and indefinite detention" and called the prison "an indictment" of the George W. Bush administration's human rights record. Saudi Arabia's state-sponsored Saudi Human Rights group blamed the U.S. for the deaths. "There are no independent monitors at the detention camp so it is easy to pin the crime on the prisoners... it's possible they were tortured," said Mufleh al-Qahtani, the group's deputy director, in a statement to the local Al-Riyadh newspaper.

Guantánamo officials have reported 41 unsuccessful suicide attempts by 25 detainees since the U.S. began taking prisoners to the base in January 2002. Defense lawyers contend the number of suicide attempts is higher. On May 19, 2002, a UN panel said that holding detainees indefinitely at Guantánamo violated the world's ban on torture and that the United States should close the detention center. Mark Denbeaux, a law professor at Seton Hall University in New Jersey who represents two Tunisians at Guantánamo, said he believes others are candidates for suicide.

As of August 2003, at least 29 inmates of Camp Delta had attempted suicide in protest. The U.S. officials would not say why they had not previously reported the incident. After this event the Pentagon reclassified suicides as "manipulative self-injurious behaviors" because it is alleged by camp physicians that detainees do not genuinely wish to end their lives.

In 2008 a hidden-camera-video was released of an interrogation between Canadian Security Intelligence Service, and a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer and Omar Khadr, a youth held in Guantánamo Bay, in which the prisoner repeatedly seems to utter "kill me, kill me, kill me".

However, a three judge panel overturned judge Robertson's ruling on Friday, July 15, 2005. The panel's ruling stated that the trial by military commission could, in and of itself, serve as the necessary "competent tribunal." On June 29, 2006, the Supreme Court of the United States reversed the ruling of the Court of Appeals and found that President Bush did not have authority to set up the war crimes tribunals and that the commissions were illegal under both military justice law and the Geneva Convention. The Supreme Court reserved the question that Judge Robertson found decisive, namely it did not rule on whether detainees were entitled to an Article 5 determination.

There is a dispute over whether (and how) detainees may be incarcerated and tried. David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey claimed that the Supreme Court's Hamdan ruling affirms that the United States is engaged in a legally cognizable armed conflict to which the laws of war apply. It may hold captured al Qaeda and Taliban operatives throughout that conflict, without granting them a criminal trial, and is also entitled to try them in the military justice system — including by military commission.

The Supreme Court in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld has not required that neither members of al Qaeda nor their allies, including members of the Taliban, must be granted POW status. However, the Supreme Court stated that the Geneva Conventions, most notably the Third Geneva Convention and also article 3 of the Fourth Geneva Convention (requiring humane treatment) applies to all detainees in the War on Terror. In July 2004, following Hamdi v. Rumsfeld—ruling the Bush administration began using Combatant Status Review Tribunals to determine whether the detainees could be held as "enemy combatants".

The ruling also disagreed with the administration's view that the laws and customs of war did not apply to the U.S. armed conflict with Al Qaeda fighters during the 2001 U.S. invasion of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, stating that Article 3 common to all the Geneva Conventions applied in such a situation, which--among other things--requires fair trials for prisoners. Common Article 3 applies in "wars not of an international character" (i.e., civil wars) in a signatory to the Geneva Conventions—in this case the civil war in signatory Afghanistan. It is likely that the Bush administration may now be forced to try detainees held as part of the "war on terror" either by court martial (as U.S. troops and prisoners of war are) or by civilian federal court. However, Bush has indicated that he may seek an Act of Congress authorizing military commissions.

Eugene R. Fidell, who the Washington Post called a Washington-based expert in military law, said that "It suggests the procedure is a sham; if a case like that can get through, then the merest scintilla of evidence against someone would carry the day for the government, even if there's a mountain of evidence on the other side." Another detainee, Fawaz Mahdi, was determined by a CSRT to be an enemy combatant despite the fact that the CSRT (and Fawaz' lawyer) observed that he suffers a form of mental illness and that the only evidence for determining his status was his own statement.

In addition to the Combatant Status Review Tribunals the Department of Defense initiated a similar, annual review. Like the CSRT the Board did not have a mandate to review whether detainees qualified for POW status under the Geneva Conventions. The Board's mandate was to consider the factors for and against the continued detention of captives, and make a recommendation either for their retention, or their release or their transfer to the custody of their country of origin. The first set of annual reviews considered the dossiers of 463 captives. The first board met between December 14, 2004, and December 23, 2005. The Board recommended the release of 14 detainees, and repatriation of 120 detainees to the custody of their country of origin.

In September 2006, President Bush announced that fourteen suspected terrorists are to be transferred to the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp and admitted that these suspects have been held in CIA black sites. None of the 14 top figures transferred to Guantanamo from CIA custody had been charged until September 11, 2006.

On January 10, 2004, 175 members of both houses of Parliament in the UK had filed an amici curiae brief to support the detainees' access to U.S. jurisdiction.

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the case of Al Odah v. United States on December 5, 2007. Plaintiffs in the case argue that Guantanamo detainees deserve the right to habeas corpus and that the U.S. court system, not the military CSRT system, should have jurisdiction in such cases. On June 12, 2008 the Supreme Court ruled that detainees do have the right to challenge their detention in civilian courts, overturning a 2006 law that abridged such rights.

On February 23, 2006, U.S. District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff in New York ordered the Defense Department to release uncensored transcripts of detainee hearings which contained identifying information for detainees in custody as well as the names of those who have been held and later released. The U.S. military has never officially released even the names of any detainees except the ten who have been charged. The U.S. Defense Department immediately said it would obey the judge's order. The names of only 317 of the about 500 alleged enemy combatants being held in Guantánamo Bay were released by the Department of Defense on March 3, 2006. Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman justified withholding the names out of a concern for the detainees' privacy, although Judge Jed Rakoff had already dismissed this argument.

French judge Jean-Claude Kross September 27, 2006, postponed a verdict in the trial of six former Guantanamo Bay detainees accused of attending combat training at an al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan, saying the court needs more information on French intelligence missions to Guantanamo. Defense lawyers for the six men, all French nationals, accuse the French government of colluding with U.S. authorities over the detentions and seeking to use inadmissible evidence obtained through secret service interviews with the detainees without their lawyers present. Kross scheduled new hearings for May 2, 2007, calling the former head of counterterrorism at the French Direction de la surveillance du territoire intelligence agency to testify.

In April 2004, Cuban diplomats tabled a United Nations resolution calling for a UN investigation of Guantanamo Bay.

Many supporters have argued for the summary execution of all unlawful combatants, using Ex parte Quirin as the precedent, a case during World War II which upheld the use of military tribunals for eight German soldiers caught on U.S. soil. The Germans were deemed to be saboteurs and unlawful combatants, and thus not entitled to POW protections, and six were eventually executed for war crimes on request of the President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt. The validity of this case, as basis for denying prisoners in the War on Terrorism protection by the Geneva Conventions, has been disputed.

A report by the American Bar Association commenting on this case, states that the Quirin case "... does not stand for the proposition that detainees may be held incommunicado and denied access to counsel." The report notes that the Quirin defendants could seek review and were represented by counsel.

On September 28 and September 29, 2006, the US Senate and US House of Representatives, respectively, passed the Military Commissions Act of 2006, a controversial bill that allows the President to designate certain people with the status of "unlawful enemy combatants" thus making them subject to military commissions, where they have fewer civil rights than in regular trials.

In late January 2004, U.S. officials released three children aged 13 to 15 and returned them to Afghanistan. In March 2004, twenty-three adult prisoners were released to Afghanistan, five were released to the United Kingdom (the final four British detainees were released in January 2005), and three were sent to Pakistan. On July 27, 2004, four French detainees were repatriated and remanded in custody by the French intelligence agency Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire. The remaining three French detainees were released in March 2005.

On August 4, 2004, the three ex-detainees who were returned to the UK (and freed by the British authorities within 24 hours of their return), filed a report in the U.S. claiming persistent severe abuse at the camp, of themselves and others. They claimed that false confessions were extracted from them under duress, in conditions which amounted to torture. They alleged that conditions deteriorated when Major General Geoffrey Miller took charge of the camp, including increased periods of solitary confinement for the detainees. They claimed that the abuse took place with the knowledge of the intelligence forces. Their claims are currently being investigated by the British government.

There are five British residents remaining: Bisher Amin Khalil Al-Rawi, Jamil al Banna, Shaker Abdur-Raheem Aamer, Jamal Abdullah and Omar Deghayes. Two dozen Uyghur detainees in Guantanamo, the Washington Post reported on August 25, 2005, that fifteen had been determined not to have been "enemy combatants." Some of the Uyghurs had lawyers who volunteered to help them pursue a writ of habeas corpus, which would have been the single step in getting them freed from American detention. Five of the Uyghurs were scheduled to have arguments for their writ of habeas corpus argued in U.S. District Court on May 8, 2006. However, on May 5, the five Uyghurs were transported to refugee camps in Albania, thousands of miles from their homes, and the Department of Justice filed an "Emergency Motion to Dismiss as Moot" on the same day. One of the Uyghurs' lawyers characterized the sudden transfer as an attempt "to avoid having to answer in court for keeping innocent men in jail".

In August 2006, Murat Kurnaz was released from Guantánamo.

Airat Vakhitov and Rustam Akhmyarov, two Russian nationals captured in Afghanistan in December 2001 (in a Taliban prison, in Vakhitov's case) and released from Guantánamo in 2004, were arrested by Russian authorities in Moscow on August 27, 2005, for allegedly preparing a series of attacks in Russia. According to authorities, Vakhitov was using a local human rights group as cover for his activities. They were released on September 2, and no charges were pressed.

U.S. officials have claimed that some of the released prisoners returned to the battlefield. According to Dick Cheney, these captives tricked their interrogators about their real identity and made them think they were harmless villagers, and thus they were able to "return to the battlefield". One released detainee, Abdallah Salih al-Ajmi, a Kuwaiti, committed a successful suicide attack in Mosul, on March 25, 2008. Al-Ajmi had been repatriated from Guantanamo in 2005, and transferred to Kuwaiti custody. A Kuwaiti court later acquitted him of terrorism charges. On January 13, 2009, the Pentagon said that it had evidence that 18 former detainees have had direct involvement in terrorist activities. The Pentagon said that another 43 former detainees have "a plausible link with terrorist activities" according to its intelligence sources. National security expert and CNN analyst Peter Bergen, states that some of those "suspected" to have returned to terrorism are so categorized because they publicly made anti-American statements, "something that's not surprising if you've been locked up in a U.S. prison camp for several years." If all 18 people on the "confirmed" list have "returned" to the battlefield, that would amount to 4 percent of the detainees who have been released.

As of December 2008, around 50-60 detainees have been cleared for release, but have not actually been released due to difficulties in repatriating them. The unrepatriated include ethnic Uyghurs who were training to fight for independence from the Chinese government in Xinjiang province, and who are now wanted by the Chinese authorities.

On November 30, 2004, The New York Times published excerpts from an internal memo leaked from the U.S. administration, referring to a report from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The ICRC reports of several activities which, it said, were "tantamount to torture": exposure to loud noise or music, prolonged extreme temperatures, or beatings. It also reported that a Behavioral Science Consultation Team (BSCT), also called 'Biscuit,' and military physicians communicated confidential medical information to the interrogation teams (weaknesses, phobias, etc.), resulting in the prisoners losing confidence in their medical care.

Access of the ICRC to the base was conditional, as is normal for ICRC humanitarian operations, on the confidentiality of their report; sources have reported heated debates had taken place at the ICRC headquarters, as some of those involved wanted to make the report public, or confront the U.S. administration. The newspaper said the administration and the Pentagon had seen the ICRC report in July 2004 but rejected its findings. The story was originally reported in several newspapers, including The Guardian, and the ICRC reacted to the article when the report was leaked in May.

In a foreword to Amnesty International's International Report 2005, the Secretary General, Irene Khan, made a passing reference to the Guantánamo Bay prison as "the gulag of our times," breaking an internal AI policy on not comparing different human rights abuses. The report reflected ongoing claims of prisoner abuse at Guantánamo and other military prisons.

A number of children are interned at Guantanamo Bay, in apparent contravention of international law.

Another senior British Judge, Justice Collins, said of the detention centre: "America's idea of what is torture is not the same as the United Kingdom's." At the beginning of December 2003, there were media reports that military lawyers appointed to defend alleged terrorists being held by the United States at Guantánamo Bay had expressed concern about the legal process for military commissions. The Guardian newspaper from the United Kingdom reported that a team of lawyers was dismissed after complaining that the rules for the forthcoming military commissions prohibited them from properly representing their clients. New York's Vanity Fair reported that some of the lawyers felt their ethical obligations were being violated by the process. The Pentagon strongly denied the claims in these media reports. It was reported on May 5, 2007, that many lawyers were sent back and some detainees refuse to see their lawyers, while others decline mail from their lawyers or refuse to provide them information on their cases.

In November 2005, a group of experts from the Commission on Human Rights at the United Nations called off their visit to Camp Delta, originally scheduled for December 6, saying that the United States was not allowing them to conduct private interviews with the prisoners. "Since the Americans have not accepted the minimum requirements for such a visit, we must cancel ," Manfred Nowak, the UN envoy in charge of investigating torture allegations around the world, told AFP. The group, nevertheless, stated its intention to write a report on conditions at the prison based on eyewitness accounts from released detainees, meetings with lawyers and information from human rights groups.

In February 2006, the UN group released its report, which called on the U.S. either to try or release all suspected terrorists. The report, issued by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, has the subtitle Situation of detainees at Guantánamo Bay. This includes, as an appendix, the U.S. ambassador's reply to the draft versions of the report in which he restates the U.S. government's position on the detainees.

European leaders have also voiced their opposition to the internment center. On January 13, 2006, German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized the U.S. detention of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay and the "advanced interrogation technique" known as "waterboarding", calling it a form of torture: "An institution like Guantánamo, in its present form, cannot and must not exist in the long term. We must find different ways of dealing with prisoners. As far as I'm concerned, there's no question about that," she declared in a January 9 interview to Der Spiegel. Meanwhile in the UK, Peter Hain, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, stated during a live broadcast of Question Time (February 16, 2006) that: "I would prefer that it wasn't there and I would prefer it was closed." His cabinet colleague and Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair, declared the following day that the centre was "an anomaly and sooner or later it's got to be dealt with." On March 10, 2006, a letter in The Lancet is published, signed by more than 250 medical experts urging the United States to stop force-feeding of detainees and close down the prison. Force-feeding is specifically prohibited by the World Medical Association force-feeding declarations of Tokyo and Malta, to which the American Medical Association is a signatory. Dr David Nicholl who had initiated the letter stated that the definition of torture as only actions that cause "death or major organ failure" was "not a definition anyone on the planet is using".

There has also been significant criticism from Arab leaders: on May 6, 2005, prominent Kuwaiti parliamentarian Waleed Al Tabtabaie demanded that U.S. President Bush "uncover what is going on inside Guantánamo," allow family visits to the hundreds of Muslim detainees there, and allow an independent investigation of detention conditions.

In May 2006, the Attorney General for England and Wales Lord Goldsmith said the camp's existence was "unacceptable" and tarnished the U.S. traditions of liberty and justice. "The historic tradition of the United States as a beacon of freedom, liberty and of justice deserves the removal of this symbol," he said. Also in May 2006, the UN Committee against Torture condemned prisoners' treatment at Guantanamo Bay, noted that indefinite detention constitutes per se a violation of the UN Convention Against Torture, and called on the U.S. to shut down the Guantanamo facility. In June 2006, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in support of a motion urging the United States to close the camp.

In March 2007, a group of British Parliamentarians formed an All-Party Parliamentary Group to campaign against Guantanamo Bay.The group is made up of Members of Parliament and peers from each of the main British political parties, and is chaired by Sarah Teather with Des Turner and Richard Shepherd acting as Vice Chairs. The Group was launched with an Ambassadors' Reception in the House of Commons, bringing together a large group of lawyers, non-governmental organisations and governments with an interest in seeing the camp closed. On April 26, 2007, there was a debate in the United States Senate over the detainees at Guantanamo Bay which ended in a draw, with Democrats urging action on the prisoners' behalf but running into stiff opposition from Republicans.

Some visitors to Guantanamo have expressed more positive views on the camp. Alain Grignard, who visited Gitmo in 2006, objected to the detainees' legal status but declared that "it is a model prison, where people are better treated than in Belgian prisons." Grignard, then deputy head of Brussels' federal police anti-terrorism unit, served as expert on a trip by a group of lawmakers from the assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe(OSCE). "I know no Belgian prison where each inmate receives its Muslim kit," Mr Grignard said.

According to polls conducted by the Program on International Policy (PIP) attitudes, “Large majorities in Germany and Great Britain, and pluralities in Poland and India, believe the United States has committed violations of international law at its prison on Guantánamo Bay in Cuba, including the use of torture in interrogations.” PIP found a marked decrease in the perception of the U.S. as a leader of human rights as a result of the international community's opposition to the Guantánamo prison. A 2006 poll conducted by the BBC World Service together with GlobeScan in 26 countries found that 69% of respondents disapprove of the Guantánamo prison and the U.S. treatment of detainees. American actions in Guantanamo, coupled with the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse scandal, are considered major factors in the decline of the U.S.’s image abroad.

According to a June 21, 2005, New York Times opinion article, on July 29, 2004, an FBI agent was quoted as saying, "On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water. Most times they had urinated or defecated on themselves and had been left there for 18, 24 hours or more." Air Force Lt. Gen. Randall Schmidt, who headed the probe into FBI accounts of abuse of Guantánamo prisoners by Defense Department personnel, concluded the man (a Saudi, described as the "20th hijacker") was subjected to "abusive and degrading treatment" by "the cumulative effect of creative, persistent and lengthy interrogations." The techniques used were authorized by the Pentagon, he said. Many of the released prisoners have complained of enduring beatings, sleep deprivation, prolonged constraint in uncomfortable positions, prolonged hooding, sexual and cultural humiliation, forced injections, and other physical and psychological mistreatment during their detention in Camp Delta.

Some ex-prisoners in interviews at their homes, weeks after being released, talked of what they said was the overwhelming feeling of injustice among the approximately 680 men detained indefinitely at Guantánamo Bay.

Spc. Sean Baker, a soldier posing as a prisoner during training exercises at the camp, was beaten so severely that he suffered a brain injury and seizures. In June 2004, the New York Times reported that of the nearly 600 detainees not more than two dozen were closely linked to al-Qaeda and that only very limited information could have been received from questionings. The only top terrorist is reportedly Mohamed al-Kahtani from Saudi Arabia, who is believed to have planned to participate in the September 11 attacks in 2001.

The International Committee of the Red Cross inspected the camp in June 2004. In a confidential report issued in July 2004 and leaked to the New York Times in November 2004, Red Cross inspectors accused the U.S. military of using "humiliating acts, solitary confinement, temperature extremes, use of forced positions" against prisoners. The inspectors concluded that "the construction of such a system, whose stated purpose is the production of intelligence, cannot be considered other than an intentional system of cruel, unusual and degrading treatment and a form of torture." The United States Government has reportedly rejected the Red Cross findings.

The Washington Post in a May 8, 2004, article describes a set of interrogation techniques approved for use in interrogating alleged terrorists at Guantánamo Bay which are said by Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, to be cruel and inhumane treatment illegal under the U.S. Constitution. On June 15, Brigadier General Janis Karpinski at the centre of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse in Iraq said she was told from the top to treat detainees like dogs "as it is done in Guantánamo ." The former commander of Camp X-Ray, Geoffrey Miller, was the person brought in to deal with the inquiry into the alleged abuses at Abu Ghraib in Iraq during the Allied occupation. Ex-detainees of the Camp have made serious allegations, including alleging Geoffrey Miller's complicity in abuse at Camp X-Ray.

The book, Inside the Wire by Erik Saar and Viveca Novak also claims to reveal the abuse of prisoners. Saar, a former U.S. soldier, repeats allegations that a female interrogator taunted prisoners sexually and in one instance wiped what seemed to be menstrual blood on the detainee. Other instances of beatings by the immediate reaction force (IRF) have been reported in the book.

An FBI email from December 2003, six months after Saar had left, said that the Defense Department interrogators at Guantánamo had impersonated FBI agents while using "torture techniques" on a detainee.

In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer in June 2005, Dick Cheney defended the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo: "There isn't any other nation in the world that would treat people who were determined to kill Americans the way we're treating these people. They're living in the tropics. They're well fed. They've got everything they could possibly want.".

The United States government, through the State Department, makes periodic reports to the United Nations Committee Against Torture. In October 2005, the report focused on pretrial detention of suspects in the "War on Terrorism", including those held in Guantánamo Bay. This particular Periodic Report is significant as the first official response of the U.S. government to allegations that prisoners are mistreated in Guantánamo Bay. The report denies the allegations but does describe in detail several instances of misconduct that did not arise to the level of substantial abuse, as well as the training and punishments given to the perpetrators.

Senior law enforcement agents with the Criminal Investigation Task Force told in 2006 that they began to complain inside the Defense Department in 2002 that the interrogation tactics used by a separate team of intelligence investigators were unproductive, not likely to produce reliable information and probably illegal. Unable to get satisfaction from the Army commanders running the detainee camp, they took their concerns to David Brant, director of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), who alerted Navy General Counsel Alberto J. Mora.

General Counsel Mora and Navy Judge Advocate General Michael Lohr believed the detainee treatment to be unlawful and campaigned among other top lawyers and officials in the Defense Department to investigate, and to provide clear standards prohibiting coercive interrogation tactics. In response, on January 15, 2003, Donald Rumsfeld suspended the approved interrogation tactics at Guantánamo until a new set of guidelines could be produced by a working group headed by General Counsel of the Air Force Mary Walker. The working group based its new guidelines on a legal memo from the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel written by John Yoo and signed by Jay S. Bybee, which would later become widely known as the "Torture Memo". General Counsel Mora led a faction of the Working Group in arguing against these standards, and argued the issues with Yoo in person. The working group's final report, was signed and delivered to Guantánamo without the knowledge of Mora and the others who had opposed its content. Nonetheless, Mora has maintained that detainee treatment has been consistent with the law since the January 15, 2003 suspension of previously approved interrogation tactics.

In June 2005, the United States House Committee on Armed Services visited the camp and described it as a "resort" and complimented the quality of the food. However Democratic members of the committee complained that Republicans had blocked the testimony of attorneys representing the prisoners.

On July 12, 2005, members of a military panel told the committee that they proposed disciplining prison commander Army Major General Geoffrey Miller over the interrogation of Mohamed al-Kahtani who was forced to wear a bra, dance with another man and threatened with dogs. The recommendation was overruled by General Bantz J. Craddock, commander of U.S. Southern Command, who referred the matter to the Army's inspector general.

During his 2008 Presidential campaign, Barack Obama described Guantanamo as a "sad chapter in American history" and promised to close down the prison in 2009. After being elected, Obama reiterated his campaign promise on 60 Minutes and the ABC program "This Week." On January 12, it was reported that the closure may not be complete within his first 100 days as president. The fate of the remaining inmates would then be determined.

On January 21, 2009, President Obama stated that he ordered the government to suspend prosecutions of Guantanamo Bay detainees for 120 days in order to review all the detainees cases to determine whether and how each detainee should be prosecuted. A day later, Obama signed an Executive Order stating that Guantanamo Detention Camp would in fact be closed within the year. His plan encountered a setback, however, when incoming officials of his administration discovered that there were no comprehensive files concerning many of the detainees, so that merely assembling the available evidence about them could take weeks or months.

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Uyghur captives in Guantanamo

This is said to be David Hicks's cell, in Camp Six.  The windows looks down on central common rooms, which are left vacant, as a change in policy, to turn the facility in a "supermax" facility, made common rooms redundant. The inset picture is of a "reading room".  Captives are, occasionally taken to these "reading rooms", during their one-hour per day they are taken from their cell.  However, they remain in isolation.  Only one captive at a time is allowed in each reading room or exercise yard.

The United States government has held twenty-two Uyghurs in Guantanamo Bay detainment camp. Eighteen of the detainees were present at Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs) conducted by the U.S. military to review their cases.

Uyghurs are an ethnic group from Central Asia and Xinjiang province in western China.

The Uyghurs call their homeland East Turkestan.

The Washington Post reported on August 24, 2005 that fifteen Uyghurs had been determined to be "No longer enemy combatants" (NLEC) after all. The Post reported that detainees who had been classified as NLEC were, not only still being incarcerated, but were still being shackled to the floor. Five of these Uyghurs, who had filed for writs of habeas corpus, were transported to Albania on May 5, 2006 just prior to a scheduled judicial review of their petitions. As of June 22, 2008, seventeen Uyghur men remain incarcerated at Guantanamo. Two years ago, an Administrative Review Board declared all but one to be "approved for release." The Pentagon had previously determined, reportedly as early as 2003, that the Uyghurs should be released. They continue to be incarcerated.

All the Uyghurs who were asked about the East Turkistan Islamic Movement denied any contact with this organization. They all denied any participation in any political parties or organizations.

All the detainees either denied receiving any training on the AK-47, or they said that the training they had received was minimal—that they were shown how to disassemble the rifle, and were allowed to fire a couple of rounds. They all described being trained individually, by Uyghurs named either Abdul Haq, or Hassan Maksum. At least one described being trained on a pistol. They all denied being trained on any other weapons, or seeing any of the other Uyghurs receive training on any other weapons.

The Uyghurs who were present at the alleged "camp" reported that they did not expect their "camp" to be bombed. Some of them acknowledged that they had heard of the attacks of September 11, 2001 on the radio. But none of them knew that the Taliban were accused of involvement. They all acknowledged having fled the camp when it was bombed. They all stated that they were unarmed. One of the Uyghurs said Maksum was killed in the bombing.

None of the Uyghurs described seeing the United States as an enemy. All of the Uyghurs who mentioned the Chinese government described them as oppressive occupiers. Some of the Uyghurs said that they sought out the training in order to go back to China and defend their fellow Uyghurs against their Chinese occupiers.

Some of the other Uyghurs said they sought out the camp of fellow Uyghurs because they were waiting for a visa to Iran, one of the countries they had to pass through on their way to Turkey. They had heard that Turkey would grant them political asylum.

The Asian Times reported, on November 4, 2004, that there had already been internal discussion over how the USA could release Uyghurs, without putting their safety at risk.

From July 2004 through March 2005 all 568 of the detainees held at Guantanamo had their detention reviewed by Combatant Status Review Tribunals. 38 of the detainees were determined to be NLEC. Five Uyghurs were among the 38 detainees determined not to have been enemy combatants, and were transferred from the main detention camp to Camp Iguana.

This conclusion was remarked on by the first Denbeaux study, that pointed out that many of the detainees who remained incarcerated had faced much less serious allegations than the Uyghurs had faced.

On May 10, 2006 Radio Free Asia reported that the five Uyghurs transported to Albania were the only Uyghurs who had been moved to Camp Iguana.

None of the Uyghurs wanted to be returned to China. The United States declined to grant the Uyghurs political asylum, or to allow them parole, or even freedom on the Naval Base.

Some of the Uyghurs had lawyers who volunteered to help them pursue a writ of habeas corpus, which would have been one step in getting them freed from American detention.

The case of Qassim v. Bush, those Uyghurs argued for their writ of habeas corpus in United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit was scheduled to hear arguments on Monday May 8, 2006. Five of the Uyghurs were transported to Albania, on Friday May 5, 2006; the United States filed an emergency motion to dismiss later that day. The court dismissed the case as moot.

Some press reports state that the Uyghurs have been granted political asylum in Albania. But the U.S. government press release merely states that they are applying for asylum in Albania.

On May 9, 2006 the Associated Press reported that China denounced the transfer of custody. China called the transfer of the Uyghurs to Albania a violation of international law. Albania agreed to examine the evidence against the men.

Radio Free Asia reports that the five were staying at a National Center for Refugees in a Tirana suburb.

In an interview with ABC News Qasim said that members of the American-Urghur community had come forward and assured the American government that they would help him and his compatriots adapt to life in America, if they were given asylum in America.

On June 19, 2008 the Associated Press reported that Adel Abdu Al-Hakim had been denied political asylum in Sweden. Sten De Geer, his Swedish lawyer, plans to appeal the ruling, because Albania will not allow his wife and children to join him.

On Febraury 9, 2009, Reuters reported that the five Uyghurs in Albiania had heard from the seventeen Uyghurs left behind in Guantanamo, and that their conditions had improved.

An article in the December 5, 2006 edition of The Washington Post reported on a legal appeal launched on behalf of seven of the Uyghurs remaining in detention in Guantanamo. The article reports that the Uyghurs' lawyers argued that the evidence against their clients was essentially identical to that against the five Uyghurs who were released; that the process by which their "enemy combatant" status had been determined, and reviewed, was flawed.

An article about the Uyghurs' appeal, in The Jurist, citing the Fifth Denbeaux Report: The no-hearing hearings, called the Uighur's Combatant Status Review Tribunals "show trials".

On March 11, 2007 the Boston Globe reported that the 17 remaining Uyghur captives had been transferred to the newly built Camp Six, in Guantanamo. The Globe reports that the Uyghurs are held for 22 hours a day in cells without natural light. The Globe points out that prior to their detention in Camp Six, they were able to socialize with one another, but that they couldn't speak to the prisoners in neighboring cells because none of them speak Arabic or Pashto,. The Globe quotes Sabin Willett, the Uyghur's lawyer, who reports that, consequently, there has been a serious decline in the Uyghur's mental health.

In the Summer of 2006, the habeas corpus submissions known as Hamdan v. Rumsfeld reached the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled the Executive Branch lacked the Constitutional authority to initiate military commissions to try Guantanamo captives. However, it also ruled that the United States Congress did have the authority to set up military commissions. And, in the fall of 2006 the Congress passed the Military Commissions Act, setting up military commissions similar to those initially set up by the Executive Branch.

The Act also stripped captives of the right to file habeas corpus submissions in the US Court system. The earlier Detainee Treatment Act, passed on December 31, 2005, had stripped captives of the right to initiate new habeas corpus submissions, while leaving existing habeas corpus motions in progress.

The Detainee Treatment Act had explicitly authorized an appeal process for Combatant Status Review Tribunals which failed to follow the military's own rules. And Sabin Willet, the Uyghur's lawyer, has chosen to initiate appeals of the Uyghur's Combatant Status Review Tribunals.

However, Willet argues, the Combatant Status Review Tribunals failed to consider the interrogators conclusions that the Uyghurs were not enemies, had not supported the Taliban, and had not engaged in hostilities.

On June 2, 2008 the Globe and Mail reported that recently released documents suggested that the Government of Canada had come close to offering asylum to the Uyghurs. The Globe reports that Canadian officials held back from offering the Uyghur captives asylum out of fear that China would retaliate against Huseyin Celil, a Canadian citizen of Uyghur background, who was in Chinese custody.

On February 4, 2009 the Globe and Mail reported that Hassan Anvar's refugee claim, and the refugee claims of two of his compatriots were close to completion. The article quoted Mehmet Tohti, a Uyghur human rights activist who stated that he had met with Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. According to the Globe Tohti claimed there had been a positive consensus to admit Anvar, and two men whose lawyers haven't authorized their names to be released. According to the Canwest News Service Kenney is considering issuing special ministerial permits for the three Uyghurs. According to Reuters Alyshan Velshi, from Kenney's office, disputed whether Canada was close to accepting any Uyghurs. The other fourteen Uyghurs hadn't yet satisfied an obligation Canada expects of refugee claimants -- that they establish their identity.

The Don Valley Refugee Resettlement Organization is sponsoring Hassan Anvar's refugee claim. The archdiocese of Montreal is sponsoring the other two men. Their sponsors will support the men with housing and clothing, if they are admitted.

On February 7, 2009, the Hindustan Times reported that the Munich city council had passed a motion to invite the remaining seventeen Uyghurs to settle in Munich. The article asserts that Munich is home to the largest community of Uyghurs outside of China.

On June 12, 2008 the United States Supreme Court ruled on Boumediene v. Bush. Its ruling overturned aspects of the Detainee Treatment Act and Military Commissions Act, allowing Guantanamo captives to access the US justice system for habeas petitions.

On Monday June 23, 2008 it was announced that a three judge Federal court of appeal had ruled, in Parhat v. Gates, on Friday June 20, 2008, that the determination of Hozaifa Parhat's Combatant Status Review Tribunal was "invalid".

On July 7, 2008 a petition was filed on behalf of the seventeen Uyghurs. On August 5, 2008 the United States Department of Justice opposed Parhat being released in the USA, and to having a judgment made on his habeas petition. The Government's opposition filing was 22 pages long.

In early August 2008 US District Court Judge Ricardo M. Urbina declined to rule in favor of transferring six of the Uyghurs from Camp 6 where captives are held in solitary confinement to Camp 4 where they live in communal barracks with fellow captives. Urbina's nine page memorandum opinion addressed the needs of Hammad Memet, Khalid Ali, Edham Mamet, Bahtiyar Mahnut, Arkin Mahmud, Adel Noori.

On 2008 September 30 Gregory Katsas, Assistant Attorney General filed a "notice of status" for the remaining Uyghur captives -- stating that they would no longer be classed as "enemy combatants". According to The AM Law Daily the Department of Justice was scheduled to appear before Ricardo M Urbina on October 7, 2008 to defend classifying the men as enemy combatants.

Although they were no longer considered "enemy combatants" camp authorities continued to hold six of the men in solitary confinement.

On Tuesday 2008 October 7 US District Court Judge Ricardo Urbina ruled that the Uyghurs had to be brought to the USA to appear in his court in Washington DC on Friday 2008 October 10.

The United States Department of Justice filed an emergency motion to stay the Uighurs' admission to the USA. On Wednesday 2008 October 8 a three judge appeal panel granted the emergency motion to stay the Uyghur's transfer. The judges stay was to enable the appeals court to consider the merits of the parties' arguments. The parties are to file briefs by 2008 October 16.

An article published by the Associated Press on 2008 October 10 quoted Elshat Hassan and Nury Turkel, two leaders of the Uyghur American Association, about plans for American-Uyghurs to help the Uyghur captives acclimatize, once they have been admitted to the USA. Turkel said the Uyghurs are as oppressed as the Tibetans, but they don't receive as much recognition because they lack a high profile leader, like the Dalai Lama.

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Guantanamo suicide attempts

On June 10, 2006 three prisoners held by the United States at the Guantanamo Bay detainment camps committed suicide. The United States Department of Defense (DoD) stopped reporting Guantanamo suicide attempts in 2002. The Bush administration announced a policy where captives taken during the invasion of Afghanistan could be detained indefinitely, without benefit of the protections of the Geneva Conventions. The DoD set up detainment camps at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.

Some prisoners started attempting to commit suicide almost immediately. In mid-2002 the DoD changed the way they classified suicide attempts, calling them "self-injurious behavior". The DoD acknowledges 41 suicide attempts among 29 detainees. The June 10 2006 suicides were the first inmate deaths at the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp.

On January 24, 2005 the U.S. military revealed that there were 350 incidents of self-harm in 2003. 120 of those incidents of self-harm were attempts by detainees to hang themselves. 23 detainees participated in a simultaneous mass-suicide attempt.

On Thursday May 31, 2007 Saudi officials announced that the dead man's name was Abdul Rahman Maadha al-Amry.

The Associated Press reported, at noon May 31, 2007, that the dead man had been identified as one of the "high-value detainees", held in Camp 5.

The Miami Herald, citing sources with inside knowledge of the case, reports that the dead man was Abdul Rahman Ma Ath Thafir Al Amri. Their report identified Al Amri as one of the Guantanamo captives who was never allowed to meet with an attorney. The report quotes Al Amri's Combatant Status Review Tribunal, where he pointed out that if he had truly been a jihadist dedicated to killing Americans he could have done so when he was receiving military training in Saudi Arabia from American advisors. The article also quoted Al Amri's denial that he had been involved in making a video about the USS Cole bombing.

Other newspaper reports commented on the timing of the death, pointing out that it was almost a year after the three deaths of June 10, 2006, and that both incidents followed a new commandant being assigned to JTF-GTMO, and both incidents occurred shortly before the convening of a military commission.

On June 10, 2006 three prisoners held in the Guantanamo Bay detainment camps committed suicide.

Initially the DoD only revealed that two of the men were Saudis and one was a Yemeni. Saudi authorities released the names of the two Saudis on June 11, 2006. The DoD then identified the dead men as Saudis Mani al-Utaybi and Yasser al-Zahrani, and Yemeni Ali Abdullah Ahmed.

According to Pentagon they "killed themselves in an apparent suicide pact". Prison commander Rear Admiral Harry Harris has stated: "This was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetric warfare committed against us." Harris also stated that the Guantanamo detainees were: "dangerous, committed to killing Americans.". He claimed that there was a myth among the detainees that if three detainees were known to have died in the camps the DoD would be pressured to send the rest of the detainees home.

Colleen Graffy, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy, called the suicides, "a good PR move" -- and, "a tactic to further the jihadi cause".

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that news of the deaths raised skepticism over whether the Saudi men really killed themselves. The article reports Saudi speculation that the men were driven to suicide by torture.

The Associated Press quoted the detainee's hospital's head doctor's challenge to the idea that the dead men had been driven to suicide by despair. He asserted that the men had psychological tests administered shortly before their deaths, that confirmed that they were not depressed. The administration of psychological tests to hunger strikers was routine, and all three men were participants in the recent hunger strike.

The Doctor spoke on condition of anonymity. But he has been previously identified as Captain John Edmundson USN.

On July 9, 2006 The Jurist reported that DoD spokesmen have claimed that the dead men received assistance from others. Further, the DoD claims that preparations for the hangings were written on the blank paper issued to the detainees lawyers.

The camp authorities has seized almost all the documents from almost all the detainees -- a total of half a ton of papers. The administration wants to suspend all lawyers visits, while a commission reviews those half-ton of papers for any further sign that any of the detainees lawyers helped plan the suicides.

Bahraini detainee Abdulla Majid Al Naimi who was released on November 8, 2005 said he knew the three dead men, and commented on their deaths on June 25, 2006. Al Naimi said that Al-Utaybi and Ahmed were captured while studying in Pakistan. He said that they were interrogated for only a brief time after their arrival in Guantanamo, and their interrogators had told them they were not regarded as a threat, and that they could expect to be released.

Al Naimi said that Al Zahrani, was only 16 when he was captured. According to Al Naimi Al Zahrani should have been treated as a minor.

All three of the families of the dead men have challenged the American post-mortems. The families all took steps to have second post-mortems after the bodies were returned to them.

Patrice Mangin, who headed the team that volunteered to examine the Al Salami's body, said that it was routine to remove some organs that decay rapidly. Some family members had expressed concerns when the bodies were missing the brain, liver, kidney heart and other organs.

Mangin however said that the US authorities had kept Al-Salami's throat, and that his team couldn't state an opinion as to whether he hung himself until it was returned.

Joshe Natreen, the American lawyer of seven Saudi detainees, reported that a Guantanamo official informed her that another Saudi had made a suicide attempt since June 10, 2006.

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Pakistani captives in Guantanamo

According to the United States Department of Defense, there were five dozen Pakistan captives in Guantanamo prior to May 15, 2006. The Guantanamo Bay detention camp was opened on January 11, 2002. In the summer of 2004, following the United States Supreme Court's ruling in Rasul v. Bush, the Department of Defense stopped transferring men and boys to Guantanamo. On September 6, 2006 United States President George W. Bush announced the transfer of 14 high value detainees to Guantanamo, including several additional Pakistanis.

On September 7, 2008 Pakistan's Daily Times quoted Hussain Haqqani, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, stating that only five Pakistanis remained in captivity in Guantanamo: Ume Amaar Al Balochi, Majid Khan, Abdul Rabbani, Muhammad Ahmed, Ghulam Rabbani and Saifullah. A sixth man, Qari Muhammad Saeed was reported to have been released on August 29, 2008.

Pakistani captives were released in batches.

Eleven Pakistanis (and sixteen Afghanis) were repatriated on 16 July 2003.

Five Pakistanis were repatriated on 18 November 2003. Two more Pakistanis were repatriated on 30 November 2003.

Three Pakistanis, Israr Ul Haq, Mohammad Abas and Ali Mohammed (and fourteen Afghanis) were repatriated on 14 March 2004.

Thirty-five Pakistanis were repatriated on 17 September 2004.

Mollah Shed Abdul Rehman was repatriated on 11 March 2005.

Zia Ul Shah was repatriated on 11 October 2006.

Abdul Halim Sadiqi was repatriated on 11 October 2006.

Hafez Qari Mohamed Saad Iqbal Madni was repatriated on 31 August 2008.

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Source : Wikipedia