Guantanamo detainee found dead: US military

Published: September 10, 2012

The death brings to nine, the number of detainees who have died at Guantanamo Bay. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

WASHINGTON: The US military disclosed on Monday that a detainee at their prison facility, Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, has died. However, the name and nationality of the detainee are yet to be disclosed.

In a statement released by the US Southern Command, the detainee was said to have passed away on Saturday afternoon. “While conducting routine checks, Joint Task Force-Guantanamo (JTF) guards found the detainee unconscious and unresponsive. The guards immediately performed first aid and summoned medical personnel to the scene. The corpsmen provided emergency medical treatment and quickly transported the detainee to Naval Hospital Guantanamo. After extensive lifesaving measures had been performed, the detainee was pronounced dead by a physician.”

The press release said that the name of the detainee was being withheld “pending notification of the detainee’s government and family”, adding that his remains were being treated “with respect for Islamic culture and traditions.”

US Southern Command said that an autopsy would be carried out, following which the remains would be prepared for repatriation. An investigation has already been initiated into the circumstances surrounding the event, said the US military.

The death of the detainee at Guantanamo Bay brings the total number of detainees at the US Naval Base to 167. This is the ninth death at the detention facility, with the majority of the deaths being suicides.

The detention facility at Guantanamo Bay holds detainees from several countries who were picked up following the attacks by al Qaeda on the US on September 11, 2001. In the past, several detainees have been subjected to inhumane treatment at the detention facility. US President Barack Obama had vowed to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay in his first year of office, but has been unable to do so. Members of Congress have also opposed the transfer of detainees and closure of the facility.

A spokesperson for JTF-Guantanamo, Captain Durand, said that the detainee was found motionless and unresponsive by the guard force.

Durand said that the detainee had been assigned to Camp V – a maximum security facility.

He added that the reason the detainee had been in “disciplinary status following a “splashing incident”.

“He had recently assaulted a guard with a “cocktail” – usually a food tray containing feces, urine and other bodily fluids.”

“The detainee was not on a hunger striking at the time of death. He was a hunger striker who would often take supplemental enteral feeds. He declared himself to be no longer a hunger striker on June 1, but continued to be medically monitored. Recently, his weight was recorded at 95% of his ideal body weight and 14lbs heavier than he was when he arrived at Guantanamo,” said Captain Durand.

The spokesperson added that they could not speculate on the cause of death at the time.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • UpYours
    Sep 10, 2012 - 11:00PM

    american terrorsism that no one dare querstion, Thats what these and other prisoners are enduring,, USA the worrlds BIGGEST TERRORIST..

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  • Sexton Blake
    Sep 10, 2012 - 11:19PM

    Can we assume this person died as a result of American enhanced interrogation, or am I being too critical? I wonder if the autopsy results will be made public?

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  • Sexton Blake
    Sep 10, 2012 - 11:34PM

    Can we assume this person died as a result of American enhanced interrogation, or am I being too critical? I wonder if the autopsy results will be made public? However, this does not sound as bad as the Australian attack on a defenseless Afghan village, a couple of weeks ago. Apparently the Australian troops were enraged that three Australian troops were killed, and according to Australian newspapers they raided a village, shot two innocent men, disfigured a women, and 3,000,000 rupees are missing. In both cases I suppose we will have to be patient and hope the truth will come out from the American, Australian Governments. However, I will not hold my breath waiting.

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  • Shahid
    Sep 11, 2012 - 12:25AM

    This shows the real face of a superpower that never shied in championing the human rights. If western civilisation had some leverage then it has eroded in pursuance of an unethical war.

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  • Moz
    Sep 11, 2012 - 1:04AM

    @Shahid:

    Can Islamo-fascists say the same thing about Islam is the religion of peace??

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  • Shahid
    Sep 11, 2012 - 2:16AM

    What is happening in Muslim lands is enough to experience what fascism is? Only super power in the world has turned these places into a venue of blood and gore. 9/11 was a result of perceived injustice purportedly by some extreme muslims. America instead of balancing its approach towards muslim world has instead shed the blood of millions in several Muslim countries and there is no end in sight.

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